Lionel Messi ‘s departure from FC Barcelona seems to be inevitable right now. Atleast that’s what most top tier reporters are suggesting right now.
Multiple clubs like Manchester City, Manchester United, PSG and Inter Milan are lining up to sign the Argentine maestro with Manchester City being the favorites. Messi ’s relationship with Pep Guardiola is well known to all. As a result, it seems like both already have had a conversation about a potential agreement.
After all, who doesn’t want to sign, the best player in the world?
Lionel Messi has remained the face of Barcelona for many years. He has been carrying the hopes of cules for almost a decade and especially after club legends like Xavi, Puyol, Iniesta have left in recent years. The pressure on Messi has escalated especially after 2015, and the team expects him to win matches single handedly, which he had done many times. But, it is not possible for him to do everytime.
Especially in big games like the Champions League, Messi – dependency has cost the FC Barcelona side humiliating defeats. Cules, or anyone who follows football or atleast Barcelona’s matches would clearly understand how dependent the Catalan giants are on their talisman. But, all of a sudden, Messi is planning to leave. Will FCB be able to cope without Messi?
The latest personnel appointed/ to be appointed
It is really sad that a historic team like Barca has been reliant on a single man to get their job done. But, that is how it has beem. Recently, Ronald Koeman has taken charge as the Barcelona coach after Setien’s departure.
Koeman, who is a club legend, is expected to turn the tables around for Barca, even if it is without Messi. The coach is someone who knows Barca’s philosophy, the famous possession based game and hence we can expect Barcelona getting back to their usual style of play.
Some senior stars are expected to depart and the club is looking to revamp their playing squad. New signings are expected to come. Some of the notable names include, Donny Van De Beek, Memphis Depay, Lautaro Martinez, Wijnaldum. However, these are just rumours as of now.
Frenkie de Jong is expected to return to his favorite holding midfield position, whilst Griezmann is expected to play in a more central role. In fact, Koeman has expressed his desire publicly on using De Jong and Griezmann, in their favourite positions.
This might bring the best of them and maybe we can see Griezmann back to his very best. Griezmann at present is struggling to play as a winger and is not much able to link up with Messi or Suarez. Ansu Fati and Riqui Puig are expected to play more and may even become regular starters. As per reports, Suarez, Vidal, Rakitic, Umtiti, are not in Koeman’s plans and he has already conveyed this message to these players as well. On the other hand, the futures of some players like Pique and Alba are uncertain.
The Captaincy conundrum
The most important thing is that who will be the club captain? It looks for sure that none of the remaining senior players will be handed the captaincy. Our choice would be the German shot stopper Marc Andre Ter Stegen. Leadership is one aspect which we personally feel, is that Barca lacks.
The humiliating defeats against Roma, Liverpool and Bayern are evidences of it. These results have questioned Messi’s leadership skills, as the six time Ballon d or winner hasn’t shown enough strength motivate his team, especially when they are falling apart. Hence, a new captain is definitely needed and a veteran is definitely not the best idea.
The road ahead
After being dependant on Messi for all these years and building the team around Messi, Barca may finally change their plans, find a new strategy to counter teams. It is always said that Barcelona players don’t press much to recover the lost possession. With young, energetic players in the squad, this could be rectified.
However, the midfield and defence area doesn’t look so convincing. Barca’s midfield, which was once a pinnacle, lacks creativity now. It isn’t sure how Koeman will be able to bring it back. The defence is pretty shaky and inconsistent as well. At the moment, it seems like the new young signings might improve the condition.
However, signings are not going to be easy considering the pandemic, the club’s lack of finances and their inability to offload players. The task infront is huge. It might even take another five years to bring Barcelona back on its feet. Let us wait and watch.
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