Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has urged the club to bring in a new striker in the January transfer window, believing the squad is still missing another ‘number nine’.
Barca have dipped into the transfer market to sign a new forward in each of the last two winter windows, bringing in Kevin-Prince Boateng on a short-term loan in 2019 and spending €18m on Martin Braithwaite this time last year.
Boateng played only three times in La Liga and failed to score, while Braithwaite has three goals in 24 appearances in his first 12 months at Camp Nou.
Barca scored only once in a narrow win over bottom club Huesca to kick-off 2021 and have been limited to one or fewer goals in nine of their 16 La Liga games so far this season.
Speaking after the Huesca game, Koeman explained that Barca "…need someone at the top to have more competition and goals." But whether club officials will be able to sign off on any deals until after the presidential elections towards the end of the month could hamstring such plans.
As quoted by the Daily Mail, he added: “I trust each player in our squad. But if we choose to have three midfielders there is room for three forwards.
'With Leo [Messi] we bet on someone with great depth like [Ousmane] Dembele, and we have to choose between Martin or Antoine [Griezmann] at the top and Martin has done it.
“It's a [number] nine that we're missing in these games but it doesn't mean anything in regards to Antoine's substitution. We have a lot of games and we need all the players.”
Griezmann has only started one of Barcelona’s last three La Liga games and was withdrawn early after barely more than an hour in the one he did get the nod for – a 1-1 draw with mid-table Eibar.
Griezmann has played all across the front line this season as Koeman attempts to find the best shape for his struggling team, but the France international has only scored three league goals.