Barcelona beat Deportivo Alaves comprehensively 6-0 on Saturday, but they suffered a big loss with Aleix Vidal’s horrific season-ending ankle injury. They aren’t without a solution, though. Thanks to a provision in La Liga’s rulebook, Barcelona are now able to circumvent the transfer window and sign a player to step in for the Spanish fullback.
Barça are now down to bare bones in defense, especially at right back, where Sergi Roberto is the only first team player truly comfortable in that position. With limited options in the first team, Barcelona can promote players from their B team to bolster the squad. Additionally, under La Liga’s rules, due to extenuating circumstances Barcelona can move to replace him by signing a player who is currently without a club, or who is already registered to a team in La Liga. This means that Barcelona can dip into the transfer market to sign a replacement right back who can then be used in Spanish competitions only.
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While the option is there, it could prove to be easier said than done. Barcelona reportedly approached Valencia for Portuguese starlet Joao Cancelo over the summer, but were rebuffed, and there are a number of other quality right backs in the league such as Mariano at Sevilla, Mario Gaspar at Villarreal, and more. However, it’s outside of the transfer window, so teams will be especially reticent to lose players they can’t replace, and any team willing to sell at this point will likely demand a exorbitant price to sell at this point in the season. The solution could be going for a second tier option who’s merely an adequate backup so they don’t have to depend on Roberto for every single match.
It’s terrible timing for both Vidal, who was finally starting to make a name for himself in a Barcelona shirt, and his club, who now have the unenviable task of trying to replace him at this crucial juncture in the season. But at least they have the option, thanks to La Liga’s rule.