3 potential replacements for Sergio Busquets at Barcelona
Sergio Busquets has been the world's best holding midfielder for years now - proving himself an integral part of Barcelona's most successful periods in recent history, their playing style has changed significantly in recent seasons. Although they usually still have more than 50% possession, they don't dominate as much as they used to with the ball at their feet.
Busquets is still very good on-the-ball, but is very slow and his defensive duties can somewhat be negated as a direct result of that. In these conditions, it'd be much more useful to have someone who is faster in transition and therefore, is able to contribute more both in attack and defensively.
Less than a month ago, Busquets signed a new contract with Barca, keeping him at the club until 2023. Undoubtedly a club legend, it's clear nonetheless that in the near future, he could be making more appearances from the substitutes' bench. In the next few transfer windows, the club's board should look towards signing his long-term heir and with that in mind, here are three players who could easily fill the Busquets role well in future.
#3 Rodri (Atletico Madrid)
The first player on this list is Atletico Madrid central midfielder Rodrigo Hernandez - known simply as Rodri. Having originally began his career in Atletico's youth academy, he joined Villarreal in 2015, quickly establishing himself as one of their most important players.
This summer, he made his return to Madrid in a deal worth €20m, which could prove to be a real steal in the long-term. A very similar player to Busquets in terms of technical abilities, he crucially has much more acceleration over both short and longer distances. Able to bring the ball out of defence by skipping beyond two or three opposition players, his excellent passing range and intelligent movement help him to dictate play well.
Also, his tactical awareness is among the game's best already and will continue to improve under Diego Simeone's guidance. With all of that in mind, it's unlikely that Barca can sign him for less than a premium price, given the two clubs are direct rivals.