As Messi plans to leave, what should Barca look like?
We at Headkick.co are determined to bring original football content like this to you!
With Messi’s departure from Barca looking more imminent by the second, here’s a list of Barca players who should be made second choice or showed the exit door for any chance for Barcelona to rebuild the club:
1. Samuel Umititi (Sold): Once France’s preferred centreback, Big asam hasn’t looked the same ever since his injury issues began to haunt him. Multiple attempts at comebacks have failed, partly because of his own rustiness in crucial games, and partly because of the consistent performances of Clement Lenglet. The French mates occupy the same position, have the same preferred foot, and Lenglet has been, if not great, moderately reliable for the blaugrana.
2. Jordi Alba (Benched): Once considered one of the best in the business, Jordi Alba has lost his prime for a while now. Apart from his pace in attack and chemistry with Messi, he offers very little in terms of defence. It’s time for Barca to invest in a promising LB and slowly ease Alba’s transition to the bench.
3. Junior Firpo (Sold): The man who earned fame courtesy his famous goal against Barca has constantly underperformed since he was bought from Real Betis. It takes merely a few matches to see that he is not fit for Barca’s style. Even after being reunited with his former manager, Setien, he failed to live up to standards.
4. Sergio Busquets (Benched): The Octopus of Badia has had a stellar career for Barca, but his age is catching up with him, and it’s time for him to pave the way for Frenkie De Jong to fill his boots.
5. Ivan Rakitic (Sold): If scoring in a Champions League final win and taking Croatia to a World Cup final are any yardsticks for success, Ivan Rakitic “The Rocket” has earned his share of it. Bought in to replace the incredible Xavi, he showed prowess in his first season at Barca after being Sevilla’s star man the previous season. Ever since, his performance has seen gradual decline, eventually giving him the title of “back-pass merchant”. Either he has lost his way at Barca, or his career is hitting a natural decline. Either way, he shouldn’t be in Koeman’s plans if Barca is to succeed.
6. Arturo Vidal (Sold): King Arturo has given Barca incredible performances, including that thumping header against Real Madrid, but there’s a very specific risk with keeping Vidal. While as a substitute he’s a fairly good player with impact, the Chilean isn’t a great fit for Barca’s playing philosophy. With a history of selling/not retaining great players whose playing styles weren’t consistent with their principles, Barcelona needs to rebuild a consistently coherent team again. Vidal is a decent add-on, but not a necessary one, especially for someone being paid more than Jordi Alba, Ter Stegen, and Clement Lenglet in wages. Moreover, there are teams like Inter Milan where he can be more valuable with his physical style of play.
7. Philippe Coutinho (Benched): The Brazilian returns to Barca a treble winner and an avenger, scoring two goals against his parent club in that 8–2 humiliation. Many argue that he always came off the bench for Bayern and couldn’t even convince them to buy him, hence should be sold as soon as possible. However, the two positions he occupies (LCM and LW) are currently dependent on youngsters Puig and Fati, and often-injured Ousmane Dembele. If any of them falter, Coutinho can occupy that space and hopefully make it his own under the leadership of Koeman, who considers the Brazilian in his plans.
With Barca looking for a complete overhaul, it will take some time for them to retrieve their former glory, but it’ll probably be a long-lasting one.
Creative Writer at HeadKick.co