La Liga: Best 11 Players from Week 15

Atletico Madrid remain the favourites to win the league title as they are 2 points clear of Real Madrid and have 2 games extra to play over them, indeed Diego Simeone’s team have only played 15 games so far.

Real Madrid look like the only team to challenge Atletico at this point in time and one has to wonder if the league is now a two horse race?

Barcelona are in 5th place but are 10 points behind Atletico but they have improved and are unbeaten in their last 5 games. With Real Madrid Barcelona have scored the most goals in the league with 30 so far.

Let’s look at the players that made the team of the week in La Liga, did you have any of them?

Goalkeeper: Marc ter Stegen- Barcelona 7pts

Marc ter Stegen had to be alert at the weekend as Barcelona only beat Huesca 1-0 and he had many stoppages to make as the home team had 4 good shots on target. The goalkeeper now has 22 points overall.

Defender: Anaitz Arbilla- Eibar 5pts

Anaitz Arbilla came on as a 2nd half substitite as Eibar beat Granada 2-0 and kept a clean sheet and he helped to maintain a good result and earned 5 points in the process. His value is 6.5m.

Defender: Jordi Alba- Barcelona 5pts

Jordi Alba helped to keep a clean sheet and earned 5 points as Barcelona beat Huesca 5-0 and Alba now has helped keep six clean sheets this season.

Defender: Raphael Varane- Real Madrid 5pts

Real Madrid beat Celta Vigo 2-0 and whilst Varane wasn’t involved in any goals his job is to keep a clean sheet which he helped to do. Varane has 30 points overall now and has helped to keep an impressive seven clean sheets so far this season.

Defender: Sergino Dest- Barcelona 5pts

Sergino Dest has been a success story for Barcelona so far this season and he has 17 points overall as he earned 5 at the weekend when he helped to keep a clean sheet, his 4th of the season as Barca beat Huesca 1-0.

Midfielder: Lucas- Real Madrid 8pts

Lucas had a superb game as Real Madrid won at the weekend and he scored the opening goal and set up the second. Lucas now has 20 points overall and his value is 6.5m.

Midfielder: Frenkie de Jong- Barcelona 6pts

Frenkie de Jong was the difference as Barcelona made heavy weather of Huesca winning 1-0 and de Jong got the only goal of the game, the midfielder now has 2 goals this season and has earned 20 points so far.

Midfielder: Marco Asensio- Real Madrid 7pts

Asensio had a great game as Real Madrid beat Celta Vigo 2-0. After assisting in the first goal he scored the second which ended up being Real’s winner and he now has contributed in 3 goals for Los Blancos.

Midfielder: Portu- Real Sociedad 6pts

Real Sociedad are losing the pace at the top of the league but Portu was able to earn 6 pts. He had to come off the field but at the time earned some points for a then clean sheet but the game finished 1-1. Overall Portu has done well this season and has 42 points.

Striker: Luis Suarez- Atletico Madrid 5pts

Luis Suarez had a good last game as Atletico beat Alaves 2-1 away from home. Suarez assited for the first goal and then became the hero grabbing the winner at the end. He lost some point as he was soon booked. Suarez has 9 goals this season.

Striker: Gerard Moreno- Villarreal 4pts

Gerard Moreno was the hero for Villarreal as they beat Levante 2-1 and Moreno grabbed the 2nd goal for the home side. Moreno has been brilliant this season and has 9 goals and his value is 8.5m, which looks like a bargain.

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Barcelona need De Jong influence in De Ligt deal

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La Liga champions FC Barcelona are becoming increasingly concerned that their deal for Ajax skipper Matthijs De Ligt has derailed, due to interest from rival clubs in the teenage defender.

De Ligt enjoyed a fine season at the heart of the Dutch side’s defence, as they secured the domestic double, and reached the Champions League semi final stage.

However he has been clear in his preference to move on from the Johan Cruyff Arena this summer, with a queue of top sides looking to gain an edge in the race to sign him.

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Griezmann, de Ligt and Neymar are toying with Barcelona

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What an important season coming up in La Liga it will be for Barcelona as their main rivals Real Madrid are showing their intent to be back. While Madrid splash the clash on the likes of Eden Hazard- Barcelona have yet to bring in a superstar player to rival that.

True Barca now have Ajax talent Frenkie de Jong but that deal for a reported 75m euros was actually concluded at the beginning of the year. Of course it’s not that Barca have been quiet because they have actually been very vocal in bringing in more quality names have been mentioned but it seems that some star players are actually toying with the club and showing a lack of respect.

The biggest of these seems to be Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt a brilliant prospect for defence. Barcelona showed their interest and the fact that they now have his team mate de Jong the deal seemed set in motion for the outstanding 19 year old. And who wouldn’t want that opportunity at such a young age? The problem is that just when it looked like de Ligt would say yes to Barca, PSG came in and offered the player 400,000 euros a week to play for them and everything has now stalled as de Ligt wonders about that amount of insane cash. Barcelona might be the bigger team than PSG but it is questionable that they would pay that type of salary to a teenager. So de Ligt is now making them wait on an answer.

Then there is the case of Antoine Griezmann so loyal at Atletico Madrid. It’s no secret that Barcelona have been after the French international for some time. They came close last season, but Griezmann was unsure if he wanted to play second fiddle to Lionel Messi. Also he wanted to respect his club because they had a transfer ban and he thought the timing would have been wrong to leave the club who wouldn’t have been able to replace him.

It is also no secret though that Griezmann wants to win the Balon D’or, and he will realise doing so in a Barca shirt may just give him a better advantage. But like de Ligt he is making Barca wait for a decision. What is the delay in reality- there are no major summer European competitions. Either say yes or no.

Finally there is the story of Neymar, who of course was a Barcelona player two season ago before his shock move to PSG in a deal that made the transfer the biggest in footballing history at a reported 200m euros. Neymar is giving all of the body language that he wants out of Paris and wants a return to Barcelona, even though he has been linked to another shock switch to rivals Real Madrid. It is thought though that only Barcelona is on his mind.

But just how are Barcelona going to afford all of these proposed deals? Well that is where Phillipe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele come in. Here we have two players who have failed to live up to expectations and have cost Barca over 200m euros to buy. Good players, wrong club to summarise, and it feels inevitable that both could be sold this summer albeit at a cut price to make way for any of the above players.

What is sure is that Barca must strike big in the transfer market this summer if they want to hold off what will be a huge challenge from Real Madrid this season, and then, of course there is the case of the Champions League, a trophy that Messi desperately wants to win for a 5th time.

De Ligt and a summer of change at Barcelona

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After capturing the mercurial talent of Frenkie De Jong, it appears that Barcelona are in pole position to sign his current Ajax team-mate, Matthijs De Ligt.

The 19-year-old centre-back is wanted by all of Europe’s top clubs but has allegedly told those close to him that he ‘only wants Barcelona.’

That’s a real coup for the Catalans, who see De Ligt as a future captain of the club and a player who’ll be a mainstay in their defence for the next decade. Continue reading

Three possible summer transfer deals for FC Barcelona

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The summer transfer window is a little way off yet, but as Barcelona already showed with their capture of Frenkie De Jong, the Catalans are in the mood to do business.

Traditionally, they like to get their transfers done in the early part of the window in order to allow their new signings to bed in before pre-season, though there are exceptions as we saw with Malcom last summer.

It’s entirely possible that the Brazilian will be one of those moved on, so let’s take a look at three transfers that the Blaugrana could be involved in come July 1. Continue reading