Lionel Messi has enjoyed a lot of success throughout his career. He has earned a lot of trophies and personal accolades over the last decade and a half playing as a forward for Barcelona. In recent years he has started dropping deeper on the pitch and has excelled as a makeshift midfielder as well.
Over the years he has delivered results in every role he was tasked with by his managers. Be it as a winger in the early years or as one of the greatest false No.9s under Pep Guardiola or in a hybrid No.10 role under Luis Enrique.
Fast forward to this day and we find that club is reliant on its talisman to both create and score goals. Lionel Messi's passing is an underrated part of his genius and with Barcelona having a void in the midfield since Xavi and Iniesta's departures here we discuss:
5 reasons why Lionel Messi should play in midfield for Barcelona
#5 Lack of creativity in the midfield at Barcelona currently
There was a time when Barcelona boasted of the best midfield in the world. Pass masters Xavi and Andres Iniesta shouldered the lion's share of responsibility as the creative force in the team.
It has become evident that since the departure of two of the best midfielders of all-time the club has relied heavily on their front three (led by Lionel Messi) to both create and score the goals.
Players such as Arthur Melo, Philippe Coutinho, Paulinho, Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal were brought in to fill in the void but faced an impossible task ahead of them and came up short.
Though the prospect of Coutinho and Miralem Pjanic in midfield this season might look promising, both of them have just come into the squad and it still needs to be figured out where they fit in.
Lionel Messi could fit very well in a 4-2-3-1 formation as the right-sided attacking midfielder and that might allow him to cut in and score some goals as well.
#4 Luis Suarez's departure means Barcelona need to create more chances
Barcelona recently parted ways with their star forward Luis Suarez, with the Uruguayan joining La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid in a two-year deal. With one of the best No.9s of our generation departing Camp Nou what it means for the club is that without Suarez's instincts in the penalty box, they'll need to be a lot more creative this season than they have been in recent memory.
Lionel Messi led the assists charts last season and racked up a league record 21 assists. He has always been involved in the build-up play for the Catalans but with the loss of their target man, their best bet is to hope that the six-time Ballon d'Or winner creates even more chances.
Naturally, there is no Barcelona player more suited to the role of stretching the opposition defence thin and creating chances than Lionel Messi. If Ronald Koeman starts him as an attacking midfielder and gives him the freedom to operate on the pitch, he can yet again deliver goals and assists for Barcelona.
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