Recent reports from Soccernet.ng suggested Barcelona’s interest in recruiting outstanding Nigerian midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi, from Leicester City.
However, this pursuit puts Barcelona in competition with La Liga rivals Sevilla and Serie A giants Juventus for the Nigerian international.
Barcelona’s history with African players in the past decade has not always ended favourably. Take, for instance, Alex Song, whose promising career took a downturn upon his move to Barcelona in 2012.
While Song had showcased brilliance at Arsenal, his stint at Barcelona saw limited playing time and a shift away from his preferred role, often utilized as a center-back rather than in his creative midfield position.
Despite the lack of playing time, Song found solace in the financial gains and a trophy, showing little concern about the limited opportunities at Barcelona.
“When FC Barcelona offered me a contract and I saw how much I would earn, I didn’t think twice about it,
“I thought my wife and children should have a comfortable life. I met the sporting director and he said I wouldn’t play many games, but I didn’t give a sh*t. I knew I was going to be a millionaire.” he said, as previously quoted by Eurosport.
A similar scenario unfolded for Franck Kessie, who, after a successful spell at AC Milan, moved to Barcelona on a free transfer only to struggle for significant game time, eventually opting for a move to Al Ahli in the Saudi Pro League.
Several other African stars like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Abde Ezzalzouli, Ilaix Moriba, and Kevin-Prince Boateng have also faced challenges in securing substantial playing time at Barcelona.
The prospect of Ndidi, who has thrived at the King Power stadium, facing limited opportunities at Barcelona looms large. Leicester’s form and his impactful performances in the Premier League could also deter him from a move where playing time might not be as assured.
While options remain open for Ndidi, with interest from Barcelona, Sevilla, and Juventus, his potential move to Barcelona is definitely a ‘no-go area’, given the historical challenges faced by African players in securing consistent playing time at the Camp Nou.