Barcelona are in a weird situation currently. With the club being given permission to sign a striker outside of the transfer period, it is a sign of how they’ve not done their business well over the years. But the potential signing of Martin Braithwaite from Leganes is an even stranger case altogether.
That isn’t because of how strange it is to see a club sign players outside the window. But because the move will not help any parties. If there’s anyone who will benefit from it, then it is the agent. He will get the money, but neither Barcelona or Leganes will benefit from it.
The 28-year-old Dane has been pivotal to Leganes’ La Liga season so far. He has played 24 league games, scoring six goals and picking up two assists. 15 of his appearances have come in the striker position, as the forward has completed 1.5 dribbles per game while taking 1.8 shots per game as well.
They find themselves at the 19th position in the table. They are right in the middle of the relegation zone and are two points behind the safe 16th spot in the division. The 28-year-old has contributed to eight goals- the highest at the club. It shows the impact he’s had and how crucial he is to make sure that they come out of the drop.
This a player who hasn’t exactly played at any big clubs so far. He’s played in England, but his spell at Middlesbrough yielded only nine goals. At Toulouse- the club he’s best known for, Braithwaite could get only 40 goals in 149 games. He’s never played in the UEFA Champions League and is yet to ever play in the Europa League either.
While that is no disrespect to the player, Barcelona are missing Luis Suarez due to injury. Ousmane Dembele is expected to miss the rest of the season as well. The club didn’t retain Kevin Prince Boateng, who joined Fiorentina in the summer and then left for Turkey in January.
The club also loaned out Carles Perez to Roma in January. But the giallorossi have the obligation to buy him in the summer for a fee of €11 million. This has left them very short of numbers and has left them with the chance to sign Braithwaite.
But nothing shows that the Dane is someone who will fix the issues at the club. He might be a proper striker- unlike Antoine Griezmann or Lionel Messi. But nothing of note shows that he’s of the Barcelona level, considering he’s never played in the Champions League or at an elite club.
Leganes could easily get relegated without him. It would be a huge blow for the club and instead of being a hero for a smaller club, Braithwaite can go down as a failure at a huge club. Strangely, he won’t be the one to blame for that.
Barcelona signed Malcom in the summer of 2018 but let the Brazilian go after a summer. They failed to sign Neymar, while Dembele’s move has been stalling due to multiple issues. That’s a sign of how their lax transfer policy has left in a mess. And it is a situation which will help none of the parties involved.