Barcelona identify 'ideal candidate' to replace Sergio Busquets: Reports

Barcelona could replace Sergio Busquets with Martin Zubimendi.
Barcelona could replace Sergio Busquets with Martin Zubimendi.

Barcelona have identified Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi as a future replacement for Sergio Busquets, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The 34-year-old is at the dusk of his career and is in the last 12 months of his contract at Camp Nou. It is worth mentioning that Busquets, along with Gerard Pique and Miralem Pjanic, have agreed to take a pay cut to help Barca solve their financial troubles.

Zubimendi is making a reputation for himself as one of the finest up-and-coming midfielders in La Liga. His ability to spot attacking runs with his immaculate passing makes him a threat to opposing defenses.

In many ways, the 23-year-old is akin to Busquets in his playing style. Both like to sit in front of the defense and start attacking moves from deep.

Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Cesc Fabregas and Thiago in the same team.Barcelona's midfield was a joke πŸ˜…

Zubimendi is also adept at helping out his team's defenders. He is placed in the 90th and 95th percentile for clearances and aerial duels won respectively when compared to his peers in Europe.

The Real Sociedad midfielder is an important part of Los Txuri-Urdin's first-team, having made 47 appearances for them across all competitions last season. To no one's surprise, he played the full 90 minutes in his team's opening La Liga game of the season.

Sociedad won 1-0 against Cadiz at Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla, with Zubimendi playing as the sole number six at the heart of their midfield.

Barcelona should sign Martin Zubimendi as soon as possible

Busquets was never the quickest player on the pitch, even during his peak years as a footballer. Now 34, he has lost an additional few yards and can often be a source of weakness for Barcelona when they are not in possession.

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His passing ability is not up for debate. Busquets' vision and his ability to pick out players anywhere on the pitch would remind Barcelona fans of Xavi and Andres Iniesta during their playing days.

However, it is high time the Catalan giants look to freshen up their midfield, with 'Busi' on course to become a free agent next year. Frenkie de Jong is very close to sealing a move away from Camp Nou this summer while Pjanic, who was sent on loan to Besiktas last season, is no spring chicken at 32.

Franck Kessie joined Barcelona from AC Milan on a free transfer earlier this summer, but his playmaking ability leaves a lot to be desired at times. Zubimendi, in this regard, should be a priority for the Blaugrana if they enter the market for another midfielder.

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Edited by Nicolaas Ackermann
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