10 months agoNantes coach Halilhodzic upset with Kita over Cardiff Sala talks

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Nantes coach Halilhodzic upset with Kita over Cardiff Sala talksby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveNantes coach Vahid Halilhodzic is demanding club owner Waldemar Kita keep hold of Emiliano Sala.Kita is locked in talks with Cardiff City about a fee for the striker – a move which Halihodzic is unhappy about.The coach said, “If I’m not happy, I know what I’ll have to do, do not worry.”We must understand why the president wants to sell a player while the club is in deficit. But who will assume if the club goes down in Ligue 2? There can be many things happening. “Football is a liar in poker.” last_img read more

Photos: Former Michigan State Star Magic Johnson Is At The Spartans’ Game vs. Georgia

first_imgMagic Johnson cheers on the Spartans.SYRACUSE, NY – MARCH 27: Former Basketball player Earvin “Magic” Johnson claps in the second half of the game between the Michigan State Spartans and the Oklahoma Sooners during the East Regional Semifinal of the 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Carrier Dome on March 27, 2015 in Syracuse, New York. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)Magic Johnson, perhaps the greatest player in the history of the Michigan State men’s basketball program, is in attendance at the Spartans’ NCAA Tournament game vs. Georgia this afternoon. Johnson, who starred in Lansing from 1977-79, leading MSU to a national championship his final season, is watching No. 7 seed MSU take on No. 10 seed Georgia in the Second Round. The 55-year-old NBA legend had quite an audience around him at halftime. [email protected], your thoughts on the first half? #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/UBzuQ8LSKV— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 20, [email protected] taking time to sign autographs and photos at the half of MSU game #classact #gospartans pic.twitter.com/Y863b05KFD— Chris Brislin (@brizbear13) March 20, 2015Magic Johnson spending halftime with some Michigan State fans pic.twitter.com/g0azEcLtC0— Kyle Austin (@kylebaustin) March 20, 2015Johnson witnessed a pretty impressive performance by the Spartans in the first half, as they lead the Bulldogs, 35-22, after 20 minutes. Michigan State and Georgia’s game is being televised on truTV.last_img read more

The Rockets Love Launching 3s From Way Past The Line

Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group The Rockets shoot from (way, way) downtownNBA teams with the most 3-point attempts from 28-35 feet, 2017-18 Miami Heat70– Houston Rockets178– Portland Trail Blazers108– Cleveland Cavaliers93– DALLAS — The Houston Rockets, who at the moment seem to be the only team worthy of challenging the defending champion Warriors, just might be the NBA’s most unapologetic club.The team set fire to the record books last season by launching more than 40 3-point attempts per night, which shattered their own record from 2014-15 and was over six 3s a night more than the team with the second-most attempts. Yet entering this campaign, reigning Coach of the Year Mike D’Antoni still wanted more, saying that Houston could realistically take 50 per game. Houston may not be quite that extreme so far, but they are on pace to become the first team in history to shoot more 3s than 2s — which is mind-boggling in its own right.Yet for all the attention paid to how many 3s the Rockets are taking, there’s been less attention paid to where, exactly, the club is hoisting them from, and the positive difference it’s making for their offense even if the shots don’t all go in.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/andersonspace.mp400:0000:0000:10Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/gordonhorse.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Going into their nationally televised matchup Friday night with the Pelicans, the Rockets were spotting up from a different zip code far more than any other team. Houston’s taken a whopping 178 three-point attempts from the 28-to-35 foot range, according to data from James Jackson of ESPN Stats & Information Group. For context, the teams right behind Houston on this list, Portland and Indiana, have taken just 108 and 107 attempts from this distance which is at least 4 feet behind the line. But after those three teams, no one else has even managed to crack 100 so far. This number is unusually high for the 3-point-obsessed Rockets, too: They’ve already taken more 3s from that range in 46 games this season than they took during last year’s entire 82-game slate. Boston Celtics93– Golden State Warriors84– Charlotte Hornets78– Indiana Pacers107– Team3-point Attempts Of course, it’s not like Houston — which entered Friday as the No. 2 seed, at 34-12 — is regularly canning these looks. The Rockets are connecting on just under 30 percent of their shots from that deep,1When the Rockets take 3s from above the break, their average shot distance is 25.8 feet from the basket, the second-farthest in the NBA. a far cry from the 36 percent league-average mark from 3-point range in general.Still, there are several reasons that those shots help the team even if they don’t go in, and just about all of those reasons stem from the spacing these long shots create. Chris Paul and James Harden certainly benefit from the extra room, and they already rank among the NBA’s best playmakers, even without the help.Watch this pick-and-roll play against Utah, where Paul comes down and finds big man Clint Capela for a dunk. Jazz swingman Joe Johnson was prepared to help at the rim, but began scrambling back toward sharpshooter Ryan Anderson, even though he was standing nearly 30 feet from the basket. Johnson’s recognition that Anderson can make shots from that distance was enough to send him rushing away from Capela.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/spreadpr.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Capela, who’s in the middle of his best season and is currently leading the NBA in field-goal percentage, has been perhaps the biggest beneficiary of the additional spacing. Harden and Paul, two of the best no-look passers, have had a field day throwing him lobs (He’s second in the league in dunks). His average shot attempt this season is coming fewer than 2 feet from the basket.“Having all that extra space definitely enhances Clint’s game,” said D’Antoni, who told me he gave a handful of players (namely Anderson, Harden and Eric Gordon) the green light last season to experiment with the longer 3-point tries.The importance of Capela’s vertical floor-spacing role within the offense can’t be overstated. For starters, the Rockets run an NBA-high 62 direct2Meaning an action that led directly to a shot, foul or change of possession. pick-and-rolls per 100 possessions, according to Second Spectrum and NBA Advanced Stats, meaning he’s involved in dozens of scoring opportunities each game, with both Paul and Harden. One thing worth noting about this trio: Paul, Harden and Capela have led the Rockets to a 19-0 mark this season when all three suit up and play. The team is just 15-12 when one or more of them doesn’t play.When I asked Paul what it’s like playing in an offense with so much space, he explained that he’s still learning to adjust to how open some of his teammates are. “My friends joke with me and tell me I’m a new player now, but it’s a cool way to play,” he told me. “Nobody argues about shots or anything. When you see us get frustrated, a lot of the time it’s because we’re not defending. The offense is free-flowing, and guys just let (long shots) go.”Giving players like Paul and Harden more space to work with is almost cruel. A weak-side defender’s inability to help leaves primary stoppers on an island, and the star point guards are happy to take their chances with those matchups. The result so far: The Rockets go 1-on-1 more than any other NBA team and are the league’s most efficient isolation team by a wide margin.3Their current scoring rate is the highest on record in the Synergy Sports database, which goes back 14 years. Similarly, Harden and Paul rank No. 1 and No. 2 in isolation efficiency among those who go 1-on-1 at least three times per contest. (Harden is somehow scoring nearly 53 percent of the time in iso scenarios to this point.)But the isolation plays are just one way the extra spacing has helped Harden this year, after he showed himself to be perhaps the NBA’s best passer last season. The extra room has also enabled him to toy with defenses at times. In this first video of the Rockets playing against Sacramento, Harden draws three defenders at once — two of whom run into each other — and feeds the ball to Capela after the Kings fail to account for him in the paint. Less than two minutes later, knowing that the defense won’t make the same mistake and leave Capela open again, Harden makes it look as if he’s going to throw the ball back to his center but instead swings the ball to a wide-open Anderson, who’s waiting 5 feet above the top of the key.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/capelakings.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/andersonkings.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.In just those two plays, the Rockets illustrate how easily they can break a defense. If you pay too much attention to Harden or Paul, they’ll simply go over the top to Capela. Pay too much attention to someone cutting through the paint? There’s a good chance it’s going to cost you 3 points, given the caliber of shooters they have lining the perimeter. And it goes without saying that if you neglect Harden or Paul driving into the paint, Houston will either score or draw a shooting foul, which the Rockets do better than anyone.All of this explains why Anderson likes to stand so far off the line: It forces the defender to make a choice: Am I going to come out and guard him up to 30 feet from the basket and be too far away to provide help on James or Paul, or do I want to be in position to guard against the drive and risk letting Anderson or Gordon get an open 3 from basically another county?“I kind of like shooting it from that deep. Most times, no one wants to come out that far, so it feels kind of like a free throw, where there’s no pressure,” said Anderson, who was prodded by D’Antoni to start taking that shot based on what his coach had seen in shootarounds and practices. “And if they do hug up on me, like Harrison Barnes was doing tonight, all it does is leave room for James and Chris.” (Harden finished Wednesday’s game with 25 points, 13 assists and one turnover.)You might think this sort of dilemma might send a defense scrambling, but opposing teams sometimes treat the court like a minefield: Often they’re a bit too confused about who they should shade toward and wind up unwilling to make a definitive step in any direction. Houston’s opponents move at the league’s seventh-slowest rate on defense, according to Second Spectrum. On the flip side, the Rockets know exactly what they want to do when they have an open look, regardless of how far away they may be from the basket.“They’re really comfortable out there,” D’Antoni said of his players, who get more wide-open 3s per game than any other team. “If it’s just as comfortable [as a shorter 3], why not shoot it? I’m willing to live with that.” Brooklyn Nets70– Detroit Pistons77– read more

Penn Is Historys Best No 16 Seed Can It Pull Off The

2015ManhattanMAAC164364-74 vs. Hampton* Penn is the best No. 16 seed ever (according to Elo)Highest Elo rating for No. 16 seeds going into the NCAA Tournament, 1985-2018 2008Portland StateBig Sky169861-85 vs. Kansas 2010Vermont1619Syracuse1986-366 There are only a few things left in sports that have never happened: five homers in a game, a sub-two-hour marathon, a quintuple double. Probably the most famous, though, is the knocking off of a No. 1 seed by a No. 16 seed in the men’s NCAA Tournament. (A 16 vs. 1 upset has happened once on the women’s side, when Harvard beat Stanford in 1998.) It’s actually kind of weird that it hasn’t happened yet; although No. 16 seeds are usually pretty bad, you’d think at least one would have broken through over the course of 33 years and 132 tries. The 133rd No. 16 to take a crack at it will be the Ivy Leaguers from the University of Pennsylvania, which faces Kansas on Thursday — and Penn’s chances of beating a No. 1 are among the best a No. 16 seed has ever had.For starters, Penn is a lot better than the usual No. 16 seed. According to our Elo ratings — which measure a team’s strength based on (among other factors) who it’s beaten and by how much — the Quakers rank 76th in the country, with an even 1700 rating. How good is that? By definition, the typical D-I team rates around 1500, and since they first became a thing in 1985 (excluding this season), No. 16 seeds have had an average Elo rating of 1483.1This number includes No. 16 seeds that lost their play-in games before the round of 64. By the way, if that number seems strangely close to average, remember that there are a ton of teams in Division I — 351, to be exact — so even lowly No. 16 seeds are around the mean for all D-I schools. Before Penn this year, the highest-rated No. 16 seed of all time was Portland State, which carried a 1698 rating heading into the 2008 tournament. (It ended up losing, to Kansas of all teams, by 24.) Penn is officially the first No. 16 seed ever to break the 1700 barrier in Elo: 1990Arkansas-Little Rock1607UNLV1990-382 1985SouthernSWAC163659-83 vs. St John’s (NY) 2018PennsylvaniaIvy1700— 2006Oral Roberts1629Memphis1931-302 2006Oral RobertsMidCont162978-94 vs. Memphis 2017South Dakota State1621Gonzaga2029-408 2011UNC-Asheville1594Pittsburgh2008-415 2012VermontAEC162958-77 vs. North Carolina YearTeamConf.Elotournament loss 2017S. Dakota StateSummit162146-66 vs. Gonzaga No. 16 seedNo. 1 SEED Is this the 16-vs-1 matchup we’ve been waiting for?Smallest differentials in pregame Elo ratings for No. 16 seeds against No. 1′s in the NCAA Tournament, 1985-2018 * Play-in gameSource: Sports-Reference.com 2010VermontAEC161956-79 vs. Syracuse There is one big catch, however. The game will be played in Wichita, Kansas, just two-and-a-half hours down the road from the Jayhawks’ campus in Lawrence. Because our full-blown tournament model — which contains many accuracy-boosting bells and whistles that pure Elo differential ignores — takes travel distance into account, it gives Penn only a 5 percent shot at the historic victory. That’s still really high by 16-seed standards — the best chance since the current iteration of our model rolled out in 2013 — but comparing that to the typical No. 16’s win probability is like saying the Cleveland Browns had a better winning percentage in 2016 than in 2017. Sure, it’s true, but neither number is especially good.In other words, the Quakers probably won’t win. Unlike practically every other 16-vs-1 matchup, though, this one should give you a millisecond of doubt when filling out your bracket. We always say that, eventually, a No. 16 seed will beat a No. 1 seed. For Penn, there might be no time like the present.Check out our latest March Madness predictions. 1985Southern1636St John’s (NY)1948-312 YearTeamEloTeamEloElo Diff. 1985North Carolina A&T1544Oklahoma1963-420 2012LamarSouthland163559-71 vs. Vermont* It’s also worth noting that Ivy League schools are usually not relegated to being first-round cannon fodder. According to the NCAA, the Ivy’s 43 all-time NCAA Tournament wins makes it the most successful conference outside of the six major conferences and the top mid-majors.2Specifically: the American Athletic, Atlantic 10, West Coast, Mountain West, Missouri Valley and Conference USA. Ivy teams have won three of their last five games in the round of 64 (and that doesn’t even include Cornell’s Sweet 16 bid in 2010). And the two first-round losses were by a combined 4 points. Some of that is a function of seeding, but that’s also the point. The last time an Ivy League team was seeded as low as 16th was 1989, when (coincidentally enough) Pete Carril’s Princeton squad came the closest to knocking off a No. 1 seed of any 16-seed ever, losing by only 1 point to Georgetown:Of course, even if Penn is the best No. 16 seed ever, the Quakers aren’t playing another No. 16 seed on Thursday; they’re playing Kansas, which just earned its 14th No. 1 seed in program history. KU has wiped the floor with No. 16 seeds by an average margin of 25 points per game, with only one (Western Kentucky in 2013) keeping the final score within single digits.One piece of good news for Penn, however, is that this year’s Jayhawks aren’t quite as strong as they’ve tended to be in their other top-seeded seasons. With an Elo of 1985, Kansas is well below the historical average (2071) for No. 1 seeds in the 64-team-bracket era. Only nine other No. 1 seeds have had a lower pre-tournament Elo in that span than KU has this season.So Penn-Kansas might be the perfect storm we obsessive 16-over-1 hopefuls have been waiting for: a combination of the best No. 16 seed in history and one of the weaker No. 1 seeds. According to Elo, the 285-point gap between the Quakers and Jayhawks is the smallest for any 1-vs-16 game in tournament history. 2013James Madison1574Indiana1986-412 2012UNC-AshevilleBig South161965-72 vs. Syracuse Source: Sports-Reference.com 2008Portland State1698Kansas2102-404 2018Pennsylvania1700Kansas1985-285 read more

Five questions to ask about Ohio State – Purdue

1. Can Ohio State control its emotions? Common sense suggests the Buckeyes were already fired up to play Purdue after their embarrassing 26-18 loss last Oct. 17 in West Lafayette. Ind. Now, following a loss at Wisconsin after only one week ranked at No. 1, the team will be chomping at the bit to take the field. Coach Jim Tressel preaches a communal mentality to his team, but obviously, he doesn’t know what each player is thinking. “We talk a lot about what we should be collectively thinking,” Tressel said. But “I’ve never pretended to know what every individual is thinking.” 2. Will the OSU offensive line handle Purdue’s version of J.J. Watt? Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt wreaked havoc at times last Saturday against the OSU offensive line, finishing the game with four tackles and two sacks. The men who man the trenches will get no off-day on Saturday against Purdue’s Ryan Kerrigan. In last season’s game, Kerrigan tortured the Scarlet and Gray offense for nine tackles and three sacks. So far this season, Kerrigan has six sacks despite being the focal point for opposing teams’ offensive lines. 3. Is ‘Boom’ Herron ready for a No. 1 running back role? Even though Dan Herron and Brandon Saine continue to be listed as co-starters on the team’s depth chart, make no mistake about it, Herron is now the featured back. In the last three games, Herron has carried the ball 54 times. In that same span, Saine has rushed the ball eight times, including no carries in the past two games. As OSU heads into its eighth game, the offense seems to be more comfortable with Herron carrying the load on the ground and using Saine as a hybrid wide receiver. 4. After a subpar showing last week, will the OSU defensive line rebound? Before the Wisconsin game, the OSU defensive line had held its own through the first six games of the season. Things changed Saturday night. Wisconsin manhandled the OSU defensive line at times and surrendered 184 yards on the ground to the Badgers, 104 of those to 2009 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year John Clay. In most years, OSU rotates about eight players along the defensive line to keep fresh legs in the game and create a solid push on the line. In the first quarter, Wisconsin embarked on a 19-play, 89-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown. The only player substituted for one of the starters on the defensive line during that drive was freshman Johnathan Hankins. “I can remember many times we’ve talked since last February that one of the concerns was that five of our eight in our eight-man rotation were graduating or going out early,” Tressel said. “What you get into in a ball game like (last Saturday) is, is it the right time and the right place to put someone in?” 5. Are injuries becoming a serious concern for the defense? The “Silver Bullets” have quickly become the walking wounded. They are already without safety C.J. Barnett and hybrid linebacker/safety Tyler Moeller for the season. Barnett’s replacement, Orhian Johnson, is banged up. Moeller’s replacement, Christian Bryant, has a foot infection that requires hospitalization until at least Friday, Tressel said. Starting linebacker Ross Homan will be out a few weeks with a foot injury. His backup, Dorian Bell, suffered a concussion against Indiana and is still out. Although Tressel essentially said the next man in line needs to step up, the injuries are not only depleting the defense but also the special teams, where many of the backups play. The last thing a struggling OSU special teams unit needs is new and untested faces. read more

Whos paying for Terrelle Pryors lawyer

Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor’s lawyer would not disclose who is paying the quarterback’s legal bills, but he did tell The Lantern on Thursday that he does not anticipate any further sanctions for his client regarding the cars he has driven while at OSU. Larry James, a Columbus attorney who represents Pryor, explained the quarterback’s vehicle history and said his client did not commit any infractions. “In order to have infractions, he would have to receive something of a benefit that other students or the public would not normally receive,” James said. James said Pryor’s mother, Thomasina Pryor, purchased a Hyundai Sonata in 2008 for her son, then a high school senior in Jeanette, Pa. James said the car died sometime during the first year and a half, and was traded in for a Dodge Charger, for which Thomasina also paid. When the Charger began having problems, Pryor traded it in for about $7,800, and purchased a Nissan 350Z for about $11,000 after trade-in. “The monthly payments are $289,” James said. “That is about a nickel difference between the Charger and the 350Z.” Pryor drove three or four loaner cars while the Charger was being serviced, James said. “The idea of getting a loaner when your car is being serviced is pretty standard,” he said. James would not identify who is paying for his client’s legal bills. “I can’t tell you and wouldn’t tell you, and it’s inappropriate to tell you,” James said. “The public does not get to know that.” OSU spokesman Jim Lynch, citing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, would not say whether the university is funding Pryor’s legal counsel. “Student-athletes can get their own counsel when their eligibility is at issue,” Lynch said, “but NCAA rules also allow us to provide legal representation.” James said Pryor had his license reinstated since receiving a ticket for running a stop sign Feb. 17. “He has his license as we speak,” James said. “He went down (Thursday) to show proof of insurance.” James said he doesn’t understand the current media scrutiny. “Particularly for a young student-athlete, I think it’s been awful,” James said. “If you look at allegations about the cars, they have been anything but factual. It has been punitive and I don’t get that.” Multiple reports have indicated that Pryor, who is facing a five-game suspension, is the subject of an independent NCAA investigation for receiving deals on cars and other improper benefits. Lynch, citing FERPA, could not specifically comment on Pryor’s involvement. “We have an active investigation with the NCAA,” Lynch said, “and we will be working cooperatively with them until the investigation is resolved.” The NCAA and OSU’s compliance department are conducting a separate investigation into allegations that Pryor received discounts on cars, and are questioning his relationship with Ted Sarniak, a 67-year-old business man from Pryor’s hometown of Jeanette, who has been described as Pryor’s mentor. Pryor has been connected with the purchase of as many as eight vehicles since he arrived at OSU in 2008. He has been stopped three times while driving cars owned by car salesman Aaron Kniffin, or a Columbus dealership where Kniffin worked. In a sworn affidavit released by OSU on Tuesday, Kniffin said there were no special deals. “The deals that I did for Ohio State student-athletes were no different than any of the other 10,000-plus deals that I’ve done for all my other customers,” Kniffin said in the affidavit. Pryor, along with teammates Dan Herron, DeVier Posey, Solomon Thomas and Mike Adams, was suspended for the first five games of the 2011–12 regular season for receiving improper benefits, but was allowed to participate in OSU’s 31-26 victory against Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl. It later was revealed that Tressel knew about the infractions and failed to report them. Tressel resigned Monday. A Sports Illustrated report published Monday night said Pryor personally took more than 20 items, including helmets, Nike cleats and game pants to Fine Line Ink tattoo parlor. In 2008, Pryor was investigated for the ownership of a vehicle before he arrived on campus for his freshman year. He later won the starting quarterback job from then-senior quarterback Todd Boeckman, becoming the first true freshman quarterback to start at OSU since Art Schlichter in 1978. In 2009, Pryor raised eyebrows for his defense of Michael Vick after the NFL quarterback was accused of participating in illegal dog-fighting rings. “I mean, everyone kills people, murders people, steals from you, steals from me, whatever,” Pryor said at the time. “I think that people need a second chance, and I’ve always looked up to Mike Vick, and I always will.” Pryor won the Rose Bowl MVP in 2010 and passed for 266 yards and two touchdowns as the Buckeyes defeated Oregon, 26-17. read more

Lopetegui refuses to break silence on Courtois Real Madrid move

first_imgJulen Lopetegui refused to discuss Thibaut Courtois’ potential move to Real Madrid and insisted that he is “thrilled” with his current goalkeeping optionsThe former Spain boss opted to start with Kiko Casilla in goal for his first match in charge of Real in Miami against Manchester United on Wednesday morning.However, despite Karim Benzema scoring, it proved to be a futile effort with Alexis Sanchez and Ander Herrera goals handing United a 2-1 win.Speaking after the game, Lopetegui was asked by the media over the current situation regarding Courtois and his expected move to Real this summer.Tammy Abraham, ChelseaChelsea hat-trick hero Tammy Abraham hopes for more Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Tammy Abraham hopes this season will be his big breakthrough at Chelsea after firing his first hat-trick for the club in Saturday’s 5-2 win at Wolves.“At no time am I going to talk about players who are not at Real Madrid. I am thrilled with these goalkeepers that I have and I will not talk about players who are not part of this team,” he replied, as stated on the club website.The Belgium international has previously admitted during the World Cup that his future at Chelsea is far from secure at this stage with the 26-year-old keen to move back to Spain in order to be with his family.As such, a dream move to Real appears to be on the cards for Courtois with reports having previously stated that he has agreed on personal terms with the European champions.last_img read more

Barcelonas red alert they dont have a Luis Suarez sub

first_imgNow that Munir El Haddadi has left FC Barcelona, the Catalan club is working extra hours in order to find a suitable Luis Suarez replacement.Things are getting very complicated for FC Barcelona now that Munir El Haddadi has left the Catalan club to play for Sevilla, as they have yet to find a centre-forward who can replace Luis Suarez in case the Uruguay international suffers an injury.The whole drama started last summer after an unhappy Paco Alcacer left the club to play for Borussia Dortmund, he never felt appreciated by manager Ernesto Valverde and demanded more minutes in order to grow as a professional.These two recent exits have placed both Eric Abidal and Ramon Planes on emergency mode according to Diario AS, they are not even that sure if things are going to work out for them during the winter market in order to find a proper striker who can replace Suarez with a reassured guarantee.The Uruguay international seems to be in a great form this season, but not having his replacement ready to get on the pitch if an emergency happens is something that a club as massive as Barcelona simply cannot afford.The experiment to try and use Ousmane Dembele as a striker didn’t work, the French youngster proved that he plays at his best when he is free to roam around the wings and playing secluded limits his talents immensely.[ÚLTIMA HORA] Acuerdo con el Sevilla por el traspaso de Munir El HaddadiTodos los detalles 👉 https://t.co/HnF32fbN2Y pic.twitter.com/XrHPYjpSF8— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_es) January 11, 2019The possibility of using Lionel Messi is also something that Ernesto Valverde would have to do if things don’t work out their way, but the manager doesn’t want to take the Argentine star back to the position Pep Guardiola first envisioned because pretty much every squad already knows how to stop him from doing any damage.The options if the Catalan club decides to not go after a new player seem limited, they won’t compromise the team’s dynamic this season because they already feel like the squad is performing above average and they would very much prefer looking at the options they have on the market.But the transfer window is less than 20 days away from closing, which leaves the Barcelona board of directors with very few options in a very short span of time to reach a decision.Manager Ernesto Valverde is going to have to take extra special care of Luis Suarez during the second half of the season, even if the club does end up signing a striker who can replace him because there are no options at the same level the Uruguay international has delivered on a consistent basis during the last five seasons.David Villa, FC BarcelonaTop 10 players who played for both Barcelona and Valencia Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to talk about the best players who represented both Barcelona and Valencia, prior to their La Liga encounter at Camp Nou this evening.⚽🔥😱😍🤠💥🔝🔫¿Con qué emoji definirías el golazo de @LuisSuarez9? 👇 pic.twitter.com/uQTKtXRaue— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_es) January 6, 2019With 12 goals in the current La Liga season, it doesn’t look like Suarez will stop delivering good performances any time soon.But just in case anything weird happens, the options for FC Barcelona vary from Chelsea’s Alvaro Morata to Leipzig’s Timo Werner and just a couple of other players who are not very familiar to anybody in the market.The options for the Catalan club are very limited, the time is running and they are starting to get a little desperate after the announcement of Munir’s exit was announced earlier on Friday.The situation that has everybody at the club the most nervous, is that they know getting a top-level striker is a priority because their objective this season cannot be other than to win the Champions League after they got eliminated early in the competition for three consecutive seasons.If the Cule squad doesn’t get to at least reach the final this season, the manager can start packing his bags because nobody will tolerate anything less impressive than that.The clock to find a striker is ticking for FC Barcelona, time is running out and there is not a lot of wiggle room for them.🔥 @LuisSuarez9 🔥Un experto en voleas pic.twitter.com/NGqjTPMlGD— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_es) January 7, 2019Which striker would you like Barcelona to sign during the winter transfer window? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.last_img read more