First it was Tchouameni, and now Barcelona has lost out on another talent to their dreaded rivals, with Palmeiras youngster Endrick heading to Real Madrid just days after Xavi publicly praised the player.
With PSG lurking and Real Madrid having a bit of cash after missing out on Kylian Mbappe last summer, it made sense for Los Blancos to take a risk on a player that looks like the Brazilian Ronaldo 2.0. Yet, signing a 16-year-old who’s barely played any first team football is still a gigantic risk.
Even if Barcelona didn’t have their financial issues, a €72m risk would be close to malpractice after the last six to seven years of transfers. We talked about the risk that Real Madrid are making that makes sense for them but never would for Barça on the latest edition of the podcast.
Barring serious injuries, Endrick is as close to a can’t-miss prospect as it comes. So Barça would be wise to find a future centre-forward of the highest caliber to replace Lewandowski the same way that Madrid seems poised to replace Benzema.
The best forward is of course internal development. Is Ansu Fati destined to line up in the middle eventually and can he recapture the goalscoring touch that he showed so often pre-injuries? Or can Lamine Yamal, all of 15-years-old himself, become the can’t-miss forward, either on the wing or in the middle, that he is showing sparks of being?
For Barça, a sure-thing may not be out there. Centre-forwards are expensive, so the Blaugrana may continue to be forced to look at free agents. Which does make the race for 18-year-old Youssoufa Moukouko that much more intriguing. He will command a reasonably high salary, but if the player truly was a Barça fan as a child as has been reported, and he is willing to fit into the new salary structure, Barça would be wise to go after a future goalscorer already playing top flight football. To call him a future goalscorer may even be unfair to Moukouko, who has 6 goals and 4 assists in 14 Bundesliga appearances for Borussia Dortmund this season.
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