After losing Tchouameni, Barcelona has now lost one more talent to their notorious rivals, with Palmeiras youngster Endrick joining Real Madrid merely days after Xavi publicly praised him.
With PSG on the horizon and Real Madrid stuffed to the brim after having missed out on Kylian Mbappe last summer, it made complete sense for Los Blancos to take a chance on a player who resembles the Brazilian Ronaldo 2.0. Wanting to sign a 16-year-old who has barely played first-team football is still a huge risk.
Even if Barcelona did not have financial problems, a €72m risk would’ve been close to negligence after the previous six to seven years of transfers. We discussed the risk that Real Madrid is taking that makes perfect sense for them but would never make sense for Barcelona.
Endrick is as close to a huge deal as it gets, barring major injuries. So, in the same way that Madrid appears poised to replace Benzema, Barcelona would be best to find a future center-forward of the highest calibre to replace Lewandowski.
Internal development is, of course, the best way forward. Is Ansu Fati poised to play in the middle, and can he reclaim the goalscoring touch he displayed prior to his injuries? Can Lamine Yamal, who is only 15 years old, develop into the can’t-miss forward, whether on the wing or in the centre, that he is displaying flashes of being?
A sure thing for Barça may not exist. Because center-forwards are expensive, the Blaugrana may be forced to continue looking for free agents. Which makes the race for Youssoufa Moukouko, 18, all the more intriguing.
He will command a reasonable salary, but if the player truly was a Barça fan as a child, as has been reported, and is willing to fit into the new wage cap, Barça would be wise to pursue a future goalscorer who is already playing in the top flight.
Moukouko has 6 goals and 4 assists in 14 Bundesliga appearances for Borussia Dortmund this season, making him a future goalscorer.