Barcelona full back Dani Alves has urged his club to make a move to sign Jack Wilshere from Arsenal as a possible long term replacement for Xavi or Andres Iniesta.
Alves has suggested that Wilshere’s style of play, his power and his personality all make him perfect for Barcelona and their development under Tito Vilanova over the next few seasons.
“He is a great player who we have met playing against Arsenal and without doubt he can reach the height of the players we have here at Barcelona like Xavi and Iniesta – If I was given the chance to choose, he is a player that I would sign for Barcelona,” said Alves.
However, cast your minds back to the Champions League meeting between the sides in 2011 because Barcelona’s manager then, Pep Guardiola, was not so complimentary about him.
Guardiola was quizzed on the fact Arsenal had a similar playing style to his Barcelona team with Wilshere in particular picked out as an example of someone who could possibly play for the team.
What he responded with simply expressed the dominance and the high quality of the Barcelona academy and youth system.
“He's lucky, as Arsenal have time. There is not the pressure to win titles as quickly as possible. We have second-team players like him,” said Guardiola.
Have things changed? Certainly, but Barcelona have evolved in the same way Arsenal and Wilshere have done.
There’s no doubt that he could do a job in the Barcelona team but whether he is at that level demanded by Barcelona is still debateable.
Barca are not a side that go out and spend big money on players who they don’t think are going to make a fundamental difference to the team and the way they play.
While they have Wilshere-esque players in their first team and squad, it seems the much more likely transfer from Arsenal to Barcelona is that of Thomas Vermaelen, Arsenal’s captain and best defender.
How do you think Wilshere would get on at Barcelona?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald