Barcelona target experienced 27-year-old star to replace Firpo – A wise choice given the circumstances?


Why Barcelona signing Nicolas Tagliafico would be a good move

According to a report from Mundo Deportivo (h/t Daily Mail), Barcelona are targeting a summer swoop for Ajax full-back Nicolas Tagliafico. The Catalans are looking at the Argentine as a replacement for Junior Firpo.

Tagliafico started his youth career at CA Banfield in Argentina. After a loan spell with Spanish club Real Murcia in 2012/13, he joined Argentine giants Independiente in 2015. The left-back stayed for three years at the club, making 105 appearances, scoring 2 goals and assisting 3.

In January 2018, Tagliafico made the switch to Ajax and has been a regular member of the first-team in Amsterdam. Till date, the 27-year-old has racked up 99 appearances for the Dutch outfit, scoring 12 goals and assisting 15.

Nicolas Tagliafico (L) of Ajax in action against Getafe (Getty Images0
Nicolas Tagliafico (L) of Ajax in action against Getafe (Getty Images)

Barcelona’s season so far

Meanwhile, Barcelona have been well below their best this season. The Catalans sit at the top of La Liga but have been largely inconsistent. They have had to rely on the brilliance of Lionel Messi and Marc-Andre Ter Stegen on a number of occasions to win matches.

Things were improving under new manager Quique Setien but the season was then halted due to the coronavirus pandemic. Given their displays this season, it is imperative that the squad is strengthened next summer.

While the attack is an area that should be reinforced urgently, Barcelona cannot overlook their problems at the back either. Nelson Semedo and Sergi Roberto have hardly convinced at right-back, while Jordi Alba is 31 and needs a quality backup.

junior firpo
Junior Firpo has struggled in his first season at Barcelona

To that end, Barcelona signed Junior Firpo last summer but the move has been a failure. The Spanish full-back hasn’t made the desired impression in his debut campaign. While he has been behind Alba in the pecking order, when given a regular run in the side during the latter’s injury, Firpo wasn’t convincing enough, so much so that, Barcelona are ready to sell him just one year after signing him (h/t The Sun).

And if the Catalans go through with it, they should bring in a quality left-back to cover and compete with Alba.

In that regard, Tagliafico would be a viable choice for the La Liga champions. The Argentine has plenty of top-level experience with Ajax and is currently enjoying the best campaign of his career. In 2019/20, the 27-year-old has managed 5 goals and 7 assists from 38 matches.

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Barcelona target Nicolas Tagliafico
Nicolas Tagliafico helped Ajax reach the semi-final of the Champions League in the last campaign (Image credit: Getty)

Tagliafico has also made 27 appearances for the Argentine national team and has captained the side on occasions. At 27, Tagliafico is entering his peak years and is experienced enough to take over the mantle from Alba in a year or two.


The Junior Firpo experiment hasn’t worked out well for Barcelona. The Spaniard has failed to convince that he is ready to replace Alba when the time comes.

So moving for Tagliafico makes total sense for the Catalans. The 27-year-old is experienced and is playing at a high level currently, which would make him a good backup for Alba and the better candidate to replace him a few years down the line.