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Martin Braithwaite succeeds Luis Suarez as the new Barcelona number 9

Martin Braithwaite is the new FC Barcelona number 9.
Martin Braithwaite is the new FC Barcelona number 9.
Elvis Ume O
ANALYST
Modified 07 Oct 2020, 18:06 IST
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Barcelona have revealed the full list of jersey numbers for their 24 first-team players this season, with Martin Braithwaite becoming the new number nine at the club following the exit of Luis Suarez.

Other players like Riqui Puig, Ronald Araujo and Matheus Fernandes have all been promoted to the senior side and will wear the numbers 12, 4 and 19 respectively.

The biggest surprise is, however, that of Martin Braithwaite, and the fact that he will now don the iconic number 9 jersey has come as a shock to many.

The 29-year-old was signed in controversial circumstances in February from Leganes following several injury concerns and was initially handed the number 19 jersey for his first seven months at the club.

Martin Braithwaite has big shoes to fill at Barcelona

Luis Suarez is a Barcelona icon
Luis Suarez is a Barcelona icon.

Martin Braithwaite has now replaced the iconic Luis Suarez as the new Barcelona number 9, and this is no mean feat, considering the Uruguayan's exceptional displays in his six years with the Blaugrana.

Suarez departed Camp Nou for Atletico Madrid in controversial circumstances at the end of the seaaon. But he left as the club's third-highest goalscorer in history with 195 goals and 113 assists from 283 appearances in all competitions

The former Liverpool man, who was arguably one of the standout strikers in the world in his prime, helped Barcelona to 13 trophies while also forging a close relationship with skipper Lionel Messi both on and off the field.

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Before the Uruguay international, a certain Samuel Eto'o was the previous number 9 at Camp Nou as he played a key role in re-establishing Barcelona as a force domestically and continentally, so Martin Braithwaite's 'elevation' comes as a surprise.

The Denmark international has never been a prolific goalscorer during his spells with clubs like Leganes, Esbjberg, Bordeaux and Toulouse.

Barcelona operates at a much higher level than any of the sides Braithwaite has previously played for. He will need to considerably increase his output if he is to become more than a fleeting side-note in the rich annals of the Blaugrana.

Although it is unrealistic to expect Suarez or Eto'o-like numbers from Martin Braithwaite, the fact that the player apparently demanded for the number 9 jersey means that he is probably ready to step up.

With star forward Antoine Griezmann experiencing his struggles, the opportunity is there for Martin Braithwaite to make an impact, but whether he takes it or not remains to be seen.

Published 07 Oct 2020, 18:06 IST
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