5 Players that will reduce the workload on Lionel Messi this season
Despite early signs of a crisis during the previous campaign, LaLiga giants, FC Barcelona managed to overturn the odds and achieve a successful season. The Catalans were one of the most dominant sides in Europe last term and special thanks go to one man - Lionel Messi, who was at the heart of everything in the Catalan capital.
The playmaker was quite unstoppable during the campaign, tearing opposition defenses apart and leading La Blaugrana from victory to victory. He bagged an incredible 44 goals and 18 assists in all competitions as well as helping the Catalans to claim both the LaLiga title and the Copa Del Rey trophy.
Lionel Messi was indispensable in Barcelona's squad last season, carrying the burden of the team on his shoulder and handling it perfectly. He contributed heavily in scoring goals, producing assists, creating chances as well dropping deep in midfield to orchestrate team play. His influence was so large that Barcelona was a different team without him.
During the latter stages of the season, it appeared evident that the Argentine was overworked. He lost sharpness and couldn't inspire the team in the UEFA Champions League, which eventually cost Barcelona as they were sent packing from the tournament in the quarterfinals.
In a bid to reduce to burden on the playmaker, Barcelona has made some incredible signings this summer, with the likes of Arthur Melo, Malcolm and Arturo Vidal joining the club while other recent acquisitions are settling down perfectly.
Therefore, let us take a look at 5 superstars that will reduce the workload on the playmaker this season:
Barcelona acted very fast in their approach to sign Malcolm from Bordeaux this summer, with the Brazilian appearing set for a move towards the Italian side, Roma, initially. In the end, he completed a £36.5 million move to the Nou Camp instead, where he has represented the Catalans in a couple of games.
Only a few matches in the preseason and the attacker has already shown us what he is capable of. Malcolm is a highly talented winger, able to beat opposition defenders with his sheer pace and incredible dribbling skills.
He was one of the brightest players in Barcelona's preseason camp, scoring twice before the new campaign began.
The Brazilian will help in stretching opposition defenders in both flanks, creating chances for his teammates to score and also sharing in the goalscoring burden - something that will ease Lionel Messi.
Malcolm will also be very effective against opponents that sit back to defend, with his incredible ability to send the ball into the back of the net from distance.