BARCELONA

Barcelona's signing report that explains Miralem Pjanic move

An internal Barça document dated January 2020 includes guidelines as to the importance of the type of players that should be brought into the squad.

Many onlookers, including fans of the club, put their hands on their heads when they first heard about the rumoured move by FC Barcelona to bring in Juventus midfielder, Miralem Pjanic, with the fingers scratching further about the idea that this operation would involve the inclusion of Brazilian Arthur Melo.

For those people it was a nonsensical investment, especially considering the age difference (30 vs 23) between the two players, however, inside the Barça corridors they do not think the same. In fact, the club has a report, dated January 2020, that gives the green light to the Bosnian’s signing and the possible departure of Arthur.

**LaLiga 2019/20: how things stand and what's on the line**

Barcelona’s Pjanic-Arthur switch agreement

AS has had sight of this document that clearly prioritises experience over youth in certain positions of the pitch. In section three of said report, we find the detail of how the market is tracked and information on signing players.

“The requirements of the specific position must be taken into account. Perhaps not only very young players should be signed. Where a greater knowledge of the game is required, it may be interesting to sign older players and where physical performance is needed, consider younger athletes. Moreover, an experienced player may require less time to adapt to his new club and be at his peak from the moment he arrives,” stated the report.

Experience in demand | Juventus' Miralem Pjanic during warm-up.

Experience in demand | Juventus' Miralem Pjanic during warm-up.

Experience valued

In fact, this recommendation is complemented by a bundle of data points, including, for example, that in terms of technical and tactical performance, more mature players have a better balance than younger players.

"The percentage of successful passes is 3-5% higher in 30-year-old players compared to those 16-29 (…) and, in addition, the synchronisation of veteran players in the competition (coordination of their movements during the game) is better than that of younger players."

Financial benefit

Another point made in the report is that "an older player is better at accept an adjustment to his salary based on expectations of his performance." This is a factor that could be important to many clubs as they look to reduce outgoings on the back of the coronavirus pandemic that has hit them hard in the pocket. There is also a comment in the report about getting the balance between youth and experience across the squad being the best formula for success.

There certainly appears to be a change in strategy at the Camp Nou and this is evident in the plans regarding the changes being pondered in the squad. Youth is not prioritised when looking for talent, but rather the needs of the team in each position. In this way, the signing of Inter's Argentine forward, Lautaro Martínez (22), would also align with this new philosophy, one that seeks a balance, and would help to rejuvenate a strike force that includes 33-year-old, Luis Suárez.