Amid growing concern over Luis Suarez’s ongoing influence at Barcelona, speculation has suggested the club are considering long-term alternatives.
For a player who has scored 152 goals in 201 games for the Catalan giants, with 31 of those coming last season in 51 games and given he’s still only 31, it seems like an overreaction to suggest that Suarez is a concern.
Similarly, while he has yet to score a goal this season, he has only featured in three games in all competitions, and so there is still time to convince Barcelona that he is still the world-class forward they need to spearhead their attack to win major honours in the years ahead.
However, as noted by respected Spanish football expert Graham Hunter, as written for ESPN, these concerns date back to last season and have been emphasised so far this year with a decline in Suarez’s play being visible both for club and country.
With that in mind, given he’s not getting any younger, Don Balon claim that the search for a long-term replacement for the Uruguayan international is underway with Gabriel Jesus, Hirving Lozano and Timo Werner being touted as three potential targets.
Jesus is of course the most established of the trio, with the 21-year-old scoring 25 goals in 57 games for Man City while also emerging as first choice for Brazil up front.
Nevertheless, Lozano continues to impress for PSV Eindhoven, bagging 19 goals in 34 games last season while Werner has been prolific since joining RB Leipzig two years ago.
Further, given all three are in their early 20s still, it will of course fit the mould of what Barcelona are looking for with a long-term alternative to Suarez in mind.
Time will tell when or if they move for one of the players in question, but should Suarez continue to struggle in the first half of the season, it may force Barcelona into action sooner than they would like with Hunter noting that the pursuit of Antoine Griezmann this past summer was down to possible concerns over Barcelona’s frontman.