Barcelona Identify Three Midfield Targets As They Search for the ‘Next Yaya Toure’

Barcelona Identify Three Midfield Targets As They Search for the ‘Next Yaya Toure’

Edwin Kiplagat
updated at December 8, 2023 at 12:07 PM
  • Barcelona are looking for a defensive midfielder who could be the 'next Yaya Toure'
  • The defending champions' midfield depth is thin following a long-term injury to Gavi
  • The Catalan team have identified three potential players to help in that department

Injuries to Gavi, Pedri, and Frenkie de Jong this season have raised serious questions about Barcelona's depth in midfield.

The trio have been vital under Xavi Hernandez, but beyond them, they lack depth in quality.

The club are now looking for a different profile in midfield that can support the aforementioned players, and they have three players in mind.

Amadou Onana, Yaya Toure, Pedri, Gavi, Bruno Guimaraes, Youssouf Fofana, Everton, Real Madrid, La Liga
EPL star Amadou Onana has impressed and would probably thrive in La Liga alongside Pedri as the club seeks the 'next Yaya Toure'. Photos by Joe Prior/Visionhaus, Clive Mason, and David Ramos.
Source: Getty Images

Gavi is out for the season with an ACL tear, while Pedri and de Jong just returned from minor injury issues. They acquired Ilkay Gundogan on a free transfer in the summer and Oriol Romeu.

The German veteran has provided some leadership and experience in the middle of the park, but he is not a defensive midfielder.

Their midfield problems stem from the departure of long-serving Sergio Busquets, who is considered the best midfielder of his generation. Gavi, Pedri, and de Jong are talented, but they're at their best when playing further up the field.

Romeu would be best suited to a deeper midfield position but has only played 90 minutes once this season, per Transfermarkt.

Barcelona seeking 'next Yaya Toure'

According to Spanish outlet, Mundo Deportivo, via Barca Universal, the reigning La Liga champions are essentially looking for a box-to-box midfielder like Yaya Toure.

The Manchester City legend scored many goals and was one of the architects of City's first-ever Premier League title in 2012. He played for Barcelona between 2007 and 2010 and won the treble in 2009 under Pep Guardiola.

Barcelona have reportedly identified three players who could fit that bill: Newcastle United's Bruno Guimaraes, Youssouf Fofana of Monaco, and Everton's Amadou Onana.

Guimaraes and Fofana have contracts with their clubs at least until 2025, while Onana joined Everton just last season.

This means Barca will need to spend a fortune to get one of these players and with their financial woes well-documented, they would need to sell a few players to make this work.

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What FIFA paid Barca for Gavi

Sports Brief also previously reported on FIFA paying Barcelona around €3 million following Gavi's ACL injury while on international duty with Spain.

The 19-year-old was forced off just 26 minutes in La Roja's final group-stage match against Georgia, injuring himself as he tried to control a long ball.

As has been reported, FIFA are required have to pay clubs who lose players for more than 28 days because of their involvement with their countries.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.