Barcelona chief Jordi Cruyff has explained how he knew signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ferran Torres and Adama Traore in January weren’t bets.
None of this trio that Barcelona signed in January were regular starters at their respective clubs before the move. Aubameyang had been exiled from the Arsenal first team following a disciplinary foul late last year. The Gabonese superstar hadn’t played for the Gunners since December 6 before moving to Spain almost two months later.
Torres had been sidelined with a broken metatarsal at City of Man after starting the season with a bang. However, he was an unused substitute in his last three league appearances for the club.
Traore, meanwhile, was in and out of Bruno Lage wolves side. Apparently, the days of the speedster being given a week-to-week start were over.
But that didn’t stop Barcelona from pegging for the three in the winter window and the trio all kicked off.
Traore has four assists to his name in limited action, while Ferran Torres has six goals and five assists respectively. Aubameyang was the biggest achievement, plundering nine goals in his first 11 outings.
The EX-Arsenal The sharpshooter also netted a brace as Barca beat bitter rivals Real Madrid 4-0 last week.
Now, talk to the GuardianBarca chief Jordi Cruyff has explained why he advised the club to specifically target Premier League players.
Aubameyang and company. have “acquired certain habits”
Jordi became Barca’s sporting adviser in September before later being named director of international football. He quickly became the club’s de facto technical secretary.
The son of legendary Dutch striker Johan believes that although he is not a regular starter, the benefits of years of experience in the higher intensity English game have allowed the Prem trio to sign safely.
“The winter market is tough because clubs aren’t going to loan you a regular starter,” Cruyff said.
“You have players who don’t play so much but the Premier League is such a high pace, more intense physically, that the player who has been there for a few years has acquired certain habits, certain conditions.
“It’s not that we wouldn’t have looked at a good player from another league. But it was safer from England because you know they have the intensity built in.
“It wasn’t the key but it was a useful bonus.”
Since the January window closed, Barcelona have embarked on an 11-match unbeaten run, winning eight.