Has Barcelona's Marc Bartra finally decided to tackle life in the English Premier League?

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Marc Bartra was handed a few minutes towards the end of Barcelona's comfortable 4-0 win against Real Sociedad. Not until the game was already won, mind.

At 3-0 up and with only 21 minutes on the clock to go, Luis Enrique gave the young defender another cameo appearance.

It's been the story of Bartra's Barca career quite frankly. From Guardiola to Vilanova to Martino and now Enrique. None of the four managers of the Catalan giants have seen enough from Bartra to give him a regular starting spot.

This despite being that rare commodity of a ball-playing centre back.


In general terms, the vertically challenged Javier Mascherano has been preferred to partner Gerard Pique, followed by - in no particular order - Jeremy Mathieu and Thomas Vermaelen.

Bartra has been something of an afterthought.

His frustration at being left out of the entire squad for the El Clasico in Madrid was quite obviously a sore point as a sarcastic tweet was quickly deleted. Hot on the heels of that match came the news that Carles Puyol had made Bartra his first client at his new agency. Strange timing, but perhaps with a view to a move in mind.

No one would be better qualified than Puyol to advise the youngster as to whether he does have a genuine shot of success at the club of his life, or whether Bartra's purpose would be better served elsewhere.

Peak years

Soon to be 25 years of age, the player has at least given it his best shot at Barcelona and it's not been for the want of trying that he can't break into the starting XI on a regular a basis as he would like.

Fast approaching what is generally regarded as a players' peak years as a footballer, arguably Bartra has to decide soonest whether he has the ambition to make it as a top level player or if he prefers to be a benchwarmer for his career.

He does have many admirers in the English Premier League and Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool and West Ham are known to have enquired as to his availability at various stages in the recent past.

Ready made

For a modest buyout fee they'd be getting a player that has everything but experience.

Great in the air, quick along the ground and with a high success rate of pass accuracy, there's little to Bartra's natural game that needs work. Maybe a little polishing here or there but nothing too drastic.

Ready made centre-backs don't normally come cheap or if they do it is a mark of the lack of quality that a player possesses.That's not the case with Bartra and whomever shouts the loudest to seduce the player would be getting themselves a bargain.

Perhaps it's time for the player to set himself a new challenge. England awaits...

Is Marc Barta good enough to play for a top four team?

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