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Barcelona: A Scouting Report on Manchester United Target Sergi Roberto

Tre' AtkinsonFeatured ColumnistNovember 13, 2013

Barcelona: A Scouting Report on Manchester United Target Sergi Roberto

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    Barcelona midfielder Sergi Roberto is one of the most promising midfield talents to graduate from La Masia since Thiago Alcantara. Though the 21-year-old has showed a lot of promise, his future may not be with the Catalan club.

    According to the Metro, English giants Manchester United have been mulling a £6 million move for the talented midfielder.

    After having missed on midfield maestros Ander Herrera and Cesc Fabregas this summer, Roberto offers a much cheaper option and it may be wise for the Red Devils to pull the trigger.

    In this article, we will take a look at Roberto’s scouting report by breaking it down into four areas.

    We will first look at his player profile, followed by his strengths and weaknesses before ending with an outlook on his career.

    All statistics are courtesy of WhoScored and player profile information from FCBarcelona.com.

Player Profile

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    Sergi Roberto joined Barcelona’s La Masia when he was 14 years old. After impressing for two seasons, he joined the B team at 16 years of age and made a name for himself by dominating the reserve side for five years.

    The 21-year-old was officially promoted to the first team this summer, but has not gotten much playing time thus far.

    Roberto is known for his speed and ability to pass the ball. He is always looking to go forward and isn’t afraid to make hard passes to set up scoring chances.

    For those who have seen him play often, Roberto is a more traditional midfielder, who resembles traits of both Xavi and Andres Iniesta.

    The Catalan midfielder is stronger than his age and size would suggest. He often uses his strength to take the ball from opponents and rarely loses it. He is fearless and fully trusts his abilities on the pitch.

    Roberto is able to build up play or begin a counter. He is well-rounded and still has much to improve upon. 

Strengths

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    Above anything else, Sergi Roberto boasts an incredible ability to pass the ball. He may not be as adept as Xavi, but he does show signs of brilliance.

    Roberto is a very direct midfielder. He is capable of cycling possession around, but is at his best when taking the ball forward.

    The 21-year-old has provided some incredible assists during his career and knows how to put the ball where it needs to be. However, he is able to do more than just pass.

    Roberto is known for making forward runs from deep by using his speed and dribbling ability to beat defenders. He often drags defenders out of position and knows what to do when that happens.

    Unlike most attacking midfielders coming through the Barcelona system, Roberto is also a strong ball-winner. Though he is very young, he can read the game beautifully and is strong enough to take the ball from opponents.

    The young Catalan provides the perfect level of attacking prowess with defensive contribution. 

Weaknesses

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    The biggest thing going against Sergi Roberto at this stage in his career is his young age. Though the midfielder has already proven to be mature during his time with Spain’s U-21 team, he is still a very raw talent.

    The 21-year-old still has a lot to learn. He is showing great promise and will become a wonderful midfielder, but he has to grow as a player.

    Roberto is also known for trying to do a bit too much.

    Sometimes he forces passes when he doesn’t need to and loses the ball. At other times, he extends his forward runs too long and is dispossessed. At this time in his career, Roberto needs to know when to be patient.

    Lastly, the young Catalan does not offer much in the way of scoring.

    He has a strong right-footed shot but will never score many goals. He may be able to create wonderful chances and protect the middle of the pitch, but he will not offer much more than that.

    His talent at his age is brilliant. Roberto is already an unbelievably promising young midfielder. However, he still has a long way to go before he is ready to lead a midfield.

Potential

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    Sergi Roberto definitely has a bright footballing future. He shows all the signs of becoming a great midfielder and that is to be expected.

    He is ready right now to make an impact on a club and has the talent level to hang with his Barcelona teammates already. In the next few years, he could be a household name, but that will take work.

    Though Roberto has all the qualities to become a great player, he will most likely never be a world-class midfielder.

    His playing style and upbringing give him what he needs to be successful, but he isn’t the next Xavi or Iniesta. He may reach the level of an Ander Herrera, but that is likely as far as he will go in his career.

    In truth, Sergi Roberto will probably not continue his career at Barcelona for much longer. He isn’t quite at the level to challenge the other midfielders and cannot wait around for his chance forever.

    A move to a club like Manchester United would be wonderful for the young midfielder as long as the Red Devils do not expect him to fix every issue. If he does make the switch, he could light up the Premier League in the next few years, but he will not be a Mesut Ozil.

    If Barcelona would accept the cheap price United are rumored to be offering, which they won't, it would be a simple decision to pull the trigger.

    To put it simply, Roberto will have a very successful footballing career. He is capable of becoming a wonderful part of any club around the world, but he will never be the star.

     

    What do you think of Sergi Roberto? Should he leave Barcelona? Would Manchester United be wise to purchase him? Leave your thoughts and comments below. 

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