5 players that could replace Lionel Messi at Barcelona
The year is 2018 and incredibly Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are still arguably the best two players on the planet. The superstar duo has dominated football for most of the last decade, however, Messi is now alone in Spain after his Portuguese contemporary left for Juventus over the summer.
The Argentine turned 31 over the summer, and Barcelona are quickly approaching the point where they need to start planning for a future without their best player of all-time. The forward is contracted to the club until 2021 and Messi has repeatedly stated that before he retires he wants to play for his boyhood club, the Newell’s Old Boys. While Messi will most likely be a Barcelona player for the next few years, here are five players who may eventually have the incredibly tough task of replacing the Argentine.
#5 Ousmane Dembele
This young Frenchman is one of the most talented youngsters in Europe, and he also happens to already be a Barcelona player. When accounting for transfer add-on fees, Dembele could cost Barcelona well over £100 million, which is a significant investment for such an unproven player.
Aged just 21, Dembele will continue to develop while playing alongside the best players in Europe. Ultimately, Barcelona will hope that the forward will eventually be able to step up and fill Messi's shoes upon his departure.
#4 Gabriel Jesus
In his two years with Manchester City, this Brazilian star has quickly established himself as one the Premier League's most feared front-men. Aged just 21, Jesus will continue to improve his end product over the next few years, and this could ultimately transform him into one of the world's deadliest strikers.
Barcelona of course have a long history with South American stars, and Jesus would likely be interested if the the Catalan's came calling. The Brazilian also has the experience of playing in Pep Guardiola's three man attack system, which is incredibly similar to the system used by Barcelona.