“You don’t know the value of what you have until it’s gone”. Dani Alves is arguably the best right-back of the decade. The Brazilian beats Philip Lahm, Branislav Ivanovic and others by a mile. Barcelona had their hands on the world’s best right-back until Alves left in 2016 on a free transfer.
Dani Alves had achieved almost everything that the game had to offer at Barcelona. Winning 23 trophies in 8 years, forming a mesmeric partnership with Lionel Messi on the right-wing and assisting goals for fun is what summarized his Barca career. The only downside of the right back? His dramatics, antiques, teasing the opponents and blatant calling for fouls on the pitch, but considering he’s a Brazilian, these kinds of things run in their blood. Look at Neymar for instance.
However, Barcelona bid adieu to Alves and the club board were to blame for that. Showing lack of respect towards the player during contract negotiations was the first of the board’s many mistakes. Not realizing Alves’ value and allowing him to go, added to the list of blunders committed by this amateurish board. The biggest felony that this management could be held responsible for, was to not plan for life after Alves.
Since Alves left, Aleix Vidal, Nelson Semedo and Sergi Roberto have been tried and tested with only Roberto giving a decent return at right-back. The Aleix Vidal operation failed miserably and to paper the cracks Barcelona bought Semedo, meanwhile, shipping Vidal back to Sevilla. From Alves to Semedo and Vidal, the downfall has been severe.
Cutting to present, the current coach Ernesto Valverde favours the Portuguese over versatile Roberto at right back. Sadly, returns on the €35 million investment on the ex-Benfica man have been poor. The Blaugrana are willing to let the 26-year-old leave at the right price. At the same time, Catalans have entered the market to find an Alves-esque right back.
According to Leicestershire Mercury, the La Liga champions are ready to enter the race for Leicester City right-back Ricardo Pereira. Earlier, PSG and Manchester United were said to be keen on bringing the Portuguese to their respective clubs but now it’s a three-way battle with Barcelona’s arrival in the transfer market.
Ricardo Pereira has been one of the great revelations of the Premier League this season. The ex-Porto man has been defensively astute, helping the Foxes achieve 7 clean sheets and having the second-best defence in the league. On the attacking front, the speedster has scored two and assisted two so far but with the current form, the statistics are bound to bend in Pereira’s favour.
Ricardo Pereira picked up Leicester’s player of the year award last season, but still receives very little credit for his tireless work. His buccaneering style of play coupled with him being a fantastic crosser of the ball make him a fearsome player to have in any side.
Ricardo can always be found flying down the wing, and he loves to cut inside and try his luck on goal. He’s decent at defending but even better going forward and helping down the attackers, he cuts back with alarming ease and that is why Barcelona wants to snap up the Portuguese.
Manchester United signed Aaron Wan-Bissaka for €55 million this summer and the Englishman has been a spider on the right side. Yet, the Red Devils want to sign Ricardo Pereira, with the only possible explanation being, using the 26-year-old as a right midfielder. Pereira can play on either side as a full back and also in an advanced position as a right midfielder.
Barcelona have been sterile on the right-back position for years. Millions have gone down the drain in order to find a clever replacement to Dani Alves. Ricardo Pereira presents a strong case for the Blaugrana to resist and with him being available for a figure close to €40 million, it could be a highway robbery for Barca.
Do you think Barcelona should Ricardo Pereira?