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Stewart Coggin

Afellay a Perfect Fit For Barca

By November 12, 2010

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Ibrahim Afellay is 24 and it is generally at that age or younger when a top class Dutch player is enticed from the declining Eredivisie by one of the foreign powerhouses.

Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben, Rafael van der Vaart and Robin van Persie all left the country in their early 20s and have gone on to blossom in Europe's major leagues.

All the signs are that dynamic PSV Eindhoven midfielder Afellay's time has come. He has announced that he will not be signing a new contract with the club and they risk losing him for nothing next summer when his deal expires.

Barcelona may have an exceptional first XI but a recurring theme under coach Josep Guardiola is that their squad lacks depth. Should they pick up injuries to key men in the new year when the games are coming thick and fast and the Champions League gets serious, they may suffer.

Afellay looks the perfect fit. He has praised Barca duo Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta this week and appears a brilliant alternative to the latter, should he pick up an injury. Afellay, who can play left, right or central, could also occupy one of the more advanced positions in Barca's flexible 4-3-3 formation.

The Catalan club are mired in debt after the lavish spending under former president Joan Laporta, but here they have the opportunity of acquiring a player who would not break the bank and may be available for under $7 million.

Check out a selection of his goals here.

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Valerio Pennicino Getty Images

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