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28.12.2007 14:13

Analysis of the new signings

Berta Brau

Barça’s four new signings have finished the year with some very good figures and in very few months have become key players in Frank Rijkaard’s side.

Barça’s first team have finished the year with four new faces. – so now it’s time to assess the first few months of Thierry Henry, Eric Abidal, Touré Yaya and Gabi Milito as azulgranas. Four players who have made a place for themselves in Rijkaard’s starting eleven.

Barça’s number 14

Despite the effects of an injury he brought with him from Arsenal, Henry is playing well and has become one of the few Barça players to have scored in all three competitions. The number 14 has played a total of 12 league games (starting in 11 of them) in which he has scored 5 goals, including a hat trick against Levante. In the Champions League Henry has scored twice in the 360 minutes he has played. Finally, the French striker scored against Alcoyano in the King’s Cup, and thus giving maximum return on the 45 minutes he played.

Abidal – the new full back

WEB_06.jpgEric Abidal is the other French international who joined FC Barcelona at the start of the season. Abidal is a left full back but he has shown that he is also able to play in the centre of defence. With his arrival he has lit up the left wing, a position in which he has no rival. The man from Lyon is the fourth player with most minutes played, a fact which proves the confidence Frank Rijkaard has in him. Abidal has also had an important role in the Champions League, a competition in which he has played five games, all of which he started. In the Cup he has had a more discreet role, coming on as a sub for 27 minutes. Abidal is a hard defender, aggressive but not dirty, and has only two yellow cards in all three competitions.

Midfield with Touré

With the arrival of Touré Yaya, Barça’s defensive midfield is more stable, thanks to the structured technical play of the Ivorian. The number 24 has played a total of 14 league games, starting all of them. He has scored one goal, against Athletic Bilbao, and has been shown four yellow cards. His good positional play has seen him called on by Rijkaard in all competitions. In the Champions League he has played in three games with a total of 280 minutes and in the King’s Cup the African midfielder played the whole game against Alcoyano.

Milito strengthens the defence

fcb-bilbao-milito.jpgThe younger of the Milito brothers has clearly shown in the 20 games he has played between the league and Champions League that the centre of the defence is almost impassable. Gabi Milito is another indisputable first choice for the Dutch coach. In the league, the ‘Mariscal’ has played 15 games, starting 14 of them and opening his scoring tally against Recreativo Huelva in the Nou Camp. So far the Argentinian has picked up three yellow cards. In the Champions League Milito has played in five games, playing a total of 465 minutes.
Analysis of the new signings

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