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Reports: Miralem Pjanic in line for first Barcelona start

FC Barcelona v Sevilla FC - La Liga Santander
FC Barcelona v Sevilla FC - La Liga Santander
Varun Totadri
ANALYST
Modified 20 Oct 2020, 17:16 IST
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Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman is set to rotate his squad for the club's UEFA Champions League clash against Ferencvaros, with Miralem Pjanic in line to get his first start for the Catalan giants, according to barcablaugranes.

Barcelona signed Pjanić from Juventus in June 2020 in a deal worth €60 million, plus a maximum of €5 million in bonuses, to be effective following the conclusion of the 2019–20 season. The deal was coordinated with a swap of Arthur Melo, whom Juventus signed for €72 million, plus a maximum of €10 million in bonuses.

Miralem Pjanic was largely impressive during his time at Juventus, where he won four Serie A titles, two Coppa Italias, and was named in the Serie A Team of the Year for 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18 and 2018–19 seasons.

The Bosnian was also named in the 2016–17 UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season for his role in the Bianconeri's run to the final.

Barcelona new boy Miralem Pjanic could start in the Champions League after recovering from fitness issues

FC Barcelona v Sevilla FC - La Liga Santander
FC Barcelona v Sevilla FC - La Liga Santander

The signing of Miralem Pjanic from Juventus, and Arthur Melo going the other way, raised many eyebrows. Barcelona signed a 30-year-old for €60 million, and sold a 24-year-old midfielder who was a huge prospect for the future, for a very small profit.

Pjanic, however, will add experience and quality to the Barcelona squad, who are looking to recover from a poor 2019-20 season and begin a new era under Dutch manager Ronald Koeman.

Pjanic is regarded as one of the best passers in the world. He is known for his vision, calmness in possession, and dead ball skills. Barcelona have been craving for a player like Miralem Pjanic since the retirement of club legend Xavi in 2015.

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Miralem Pjanic has been dealing with fitness issues that have kept him from being 100%, which has in turn stopped him from playing as often as he would have. If fit, Pjanic is expected to play alongside Frenkie de Jong in midfield.

After resting Philippe Coutinho and Ansu Fati in the 1-0 loss against Getafe, Ronald Koeman is expected to include the pair in the Barcelona starting line up for their Champions League opener. Sergi Roberto and Antoine Griezmann could be given the day off.

Published 20 Oct 2020, 17:16 IST
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