Barcelona have made their first signings of the summer. They have added Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen to their ranks. While they aren't the biggest stars, they are solid additions to the squad. Both have arrived for free as well. Here's a look at what both these players can add to the Blaugrana next season.
Franck Kessie is arriving to the Camp Nou after a historic season at Milan. The Ivorian midfielder was instrumental as the Rossoneri won their first Serie A title in a decade.
He was deployed in a double pivot or even further forward. Kessie in the last couple of seasons established himself as one of the best midfielders in the league. He is a very good ball winner and is really difficult to get past in 1v1 duels. His biggest weakness is in a more technical aspect.
While he is good at retaining possession, his passing isn't the greatest and isn't particularly creative or line-breaking. One of Kessie's great strengths is his goalscoring.
He has a knack of attacking the box and Barca's wide creators, especially Jordi Alba, might enjoy this. Given his strengths and weaknesses, Kessie's best position could be in a double pivot alongside someone like Frenkie De Jong.
However, the truth is that it is unlikely that Barca will play a double pivot system and Frenkie might leave as well.
Andreas Christensen's strengths and weaknesses
Andreas Christensen is leaving Chelsea after arriving at the club when he was only 16 years old. He saw the highest of highs while being contracted to the Blues when he won the Champions League in 2020-21.
That season, he was crucial in his club's UCL winning run as well as Denmark's run to the Euros semifinals. On paper, Christensen fits Barcelona perfectly.
He is an exquisite passer, one of the best centre-backs when it comes to on-the-ball action. He is also a really good reader of the game and makes a high number of interceptions.
It is also important to note some of his weaknesses. Christensen often struggles when he is not playing on the front foot. Teams often target him with strong and direct runners and in those situations, he can be circumspect.
Fans and people at Chelsea have often also accused him of being mentally fragile in pressure situations. However, it is up to Xavi and the staff at Barcelona to deal with these issues.
Christensen's best has almost always come in a back 3 system but it is unlikely Barca will use such a system. That being said, Xavi did use a back 3 while at Al Sadd, so he might do it again.
These are both good signings in theory for Barcelona. Even if they don't improve the starting XI instantly, they are important for depth. The fact that Barca have managed to acquire both on free deals seems like good business. That being said, the actual results will only be seen as the season starts.