Much has been said about finding a replacement for the injured David Villa by the media and fans since that fateful day last week. One certainty, at least for now, is that FC Barcelona will not make any foray into the transfer market this winter, as confirmed by the club’s sports vice-president the other day. What has not been ruled out by him is the assigning of one, perhaps a few, reserve players into the first team. And one name that has gained ground is that of Barca B’s Jonathan Soriano.
Named the Segunda Division’s Pichichi last season with 32 goals, he’s the obvious choice in everyone’s mind. But alas it is not as straight forward as it seems. According to a Mundo Deportivo report today, even though his name has been considered by the coaching staff it will not happen just yet, preferring instead to make do with the squad they already have.
The club is facing a catch-22 situation with the idea of playing Soriano in Villa’s place, even if only for one match. It’s his age, he’s past 25, which according to the paper, prevents him from reverting back to the reserve squad once he is promoted.
It is said that although Pep Guardiola highly values his qualities, he does not want to limit his playing time given that he’ll have to compete with Messi, Pedro and Alexis, not to mention Thiago, Cuenca, Iniesta and Cesc. The coach did consider promoting him earlier in the season but decided against that idea as he believes there’s no guarantee Soriano will get the minutes he deserves, which is further confounded by the serious injury he suffered in the pre-season match against Bayern Munich.
While no final decision has been made, including that of a January transfer move, things could change in the unfortunate event the squad is further decimated by long-term injuries.
Source: Mundo Deportivo; Image: Eduard Omedes