In one of the most unexpected transfers of the season, FC Barcelona are set to swap Arthur Melo for Miralem Pjanić from Juventus. Selling a 23-year-old midfielder with such great potential has surprised everyone. Why did this deal happen?
There are negatives in this move, but the only positive thing that comes out of this is that the player Barca is getting is one of the best midfielders in the world. So how exactly will Pjanić benefit Barca, and will he be a good signing for us? Here is the answer. But first, let’s talk about his career and the significant achievements he has had over the years.
Miralem Pjanić started his career at French club Metz at the age of 14 on a youth contract. He then spent three years at Metz’s youth academy. Pjanić signed his first professional contract with Metz in Nov 2007, tying him with the club for the next three years. Metz was relegated despite a fantastic season from Pjanić in which he played 32 league games, starting 27 of them. Due to this, Pjanić attracted interest from all over Europe, including clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Milan, and many more. But Lyon signed him in 2008. He was seen as the replacement of the Lyon great Juninho.
AS ROMA (2011-2016)
In the summer of 2011, he joined Roma. Serie A was somewhat made for him to succeed. The slow pace of Serie A was as if it was made for him. One thing which is always said about Pjanić is that he is not that pacy as compared to other players in his position, but he uses that to his advantage. People started to recognize him. He came from the bench at the start but solidified his place in the starting XI for Roma. His spell at Roma helped him solidify his position as one of the best midfielders, and people started to recognize him. His range of passing and the ability to score were one of those qualities he stood out for.
JUVENTUS FC (2016-2020)
Pjanić joined Juventus at the start of the 2016 season. He excelled under Allegri and was crucial for him for the run to the Champions League Final. His role for the Bianconeri has changed since Sarri took over Juventus. He deployed him in a bit defensive position. This has directly affected his goal contributions. Mainly that his direct goal contributions have somewhat reduced in open play, but he still contributes heavily through free kicks and set-piece situations. Signing for Barca would be great for him as Pjanić will get the freedom to play his natural game as previously he used to do under Allegri. There is no doubt Barca is bound to improve through Pjanic’s addition.
Pjanić has won 3 Serie A titles with Juventus since joining them. Serie A (16/17, 17/18, 18/19). He has also won 2 Italian Cups (16/17,17/18) and an Italian Super Cup (18/19). He was also included in the Serie A Team of The Year for four consecutive seasons, namely 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18- 2018-19, which speaks for his dominance as a midfielder in Italy. In the 2016/17 season of the UEFA Champions League, he was named in the UEFA Champions League Squad Of The Season for his contributions in Juventus’ run to the final.
So, How will he benefit Barça?
FC Barcelona is a team where midfield plays an essential part. It is the heart of any football team where the whole play is dictated. But, in Barca, it has extra importance. So having players like Pjanić for a team like FC Barcelona is always a great addition.
One of the most prominent qualities that the 30-year-old has is his Precision Play. His right foot can boost any team’s potential to break the opposition. He can spread passes all over the field, whether they are short-range or long ones. In a team like FC Barcelona, where most of the build-up is done through the middle, his short-range passing will play a significant role for us and would be an excellent addition for the team.
Dead Ball Master
FC Barcelona has the best free-kick taker in the world in the form of there captain, Lionel Messi. But let’s just say that Pjanic adding to the team would be a lethal duo on dead ball situations for any organization to deal with. He will not take free-kicks for Barça as for that Messi is there. But, when we are talking about deliveries into the box through corners and set-pieces, Pjanic is among the best. It will not be a surprise if Barca starts to score more from Corners and deal ball situations as they now will have one of the best providers of the ball.
He is affectionately called “Il Pianista” by fans in Turin about his surname and the creativity he brings on the pitch.
“Pjanić is the best free kick taker in the world.”
Authority In the Midfield
When we talk about not losing possession and best protectors of the ball, Xavi and Iniesta were best in that business. But they were players who had a low sense of gravity. Despite being 1.80m tall, Pjanić is good at protecting the ball from the opposition. He doesn’t have a low sense of gravity, but he is always able to get the better of the opposition player.
Another quality that Pjanić embodies is the authority that he claims on the pitch. He doesn’t run much as compared to others but still comes on top of every opposition player. Pjanić is a player in which Barcelona can trust when playing from the back as he is the master in that.
Pjanić is usually deployed in a central midfield role or as a deep-lying midfielder in front of the backline. But his versatility helps managers to play him in more advanced positions.
In a midfield consisting of De Jong and Busquets, Pjanić would be able to fulfill his full potential. He will be able to focus on the thing he is the master in – Creative Passing while De Jong and Busquets will take care of the pace of the game.
Pjanić is a great player and will improve whichever team he plays for. He is a type of player which every team desires. He is perfect for Barcelona as his creativity is something that Barcelona was looking for.
Barcelona has struggled since the greats Xavi and Iniesta left us. But Pjanić could be an excellent replacement for the void they left. He still has a good 3-4 years to give at the highest level. He doesn’t have the style of any of the players mentioned above. Still, his creativity combined with the midfield duos of Busquets/De Jong or De Jong/Puig would be a lethal combination that could help Barcelona get their mojo back in the midfield.
And lastly, whatever happened with Arthur is upon the board. Cules should welcome Pjanić with utmost enthusiasm. It is Barca fans who can still hold the motto Mes Que Un Club high despite whatever is happening within the club.