A replacement for Andres Iniesta at Barcelona
Football is a complex sport, one followed by billions across the globe yet Johan Cruyff had the guts to deem the game as a simple one, and truly those who play simple really beat all odds and anchor themselves in the heart of the fans.
Andres Iniesta is one such player that comes along only once every century and wins over everybody and everything. Iniesta's presence of mind and excellence over the ball are unmatched, yet Barcelona would have to somehow deliver to the demanding task of replacing the veteran Spaniard.
The institutional farewell FC Barcelona provided to Iniesta in the stands of the Camp Nou marked the official end to Iniesta's era at the Catalan club.
A lot of promising talent was present in the audience of the ceremony but were any of them worthy enough to replace the maestro?
After Iniesta's official farewell at the Nou Camp, Ernesto Valverde spoke some words regarding the future of the club after Andres Iniesta, and his words sparked confidence among large sets of Barcelona fans.
The former Athletic Club manager accepted the fact that it is practically impossible to find a head-on replacement for the maestro but there are a few players present in the Barcelona camp that can serve the purpose.
There are similar players to him(Iniesta), like Denis Suarez, Alena, or like Coutinho, who maybe attacks a little more. But we have to find a solution to keep the team playing smoothly and we know that we'll need to find other solutions to replace him." - Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde
Barcelona has infamously failed to find a replacement for Xavi Hernandez, who left the club after the 2014-15 treble-winning campaign and the potential failure to replace the departing maestro could put the Catalans in serious trouble.
While none of the many midfielders Ernesto Valverde used in his first season to serve up the physicality, including Paulinho, Gomes and Ivan Rakitic are anywhere near Iniesta, the others which are somewhat similar to the Spaniard, including Denis Suarez and Carles Alena were seldom used.
Suarez revealed that he regained trust in the boss' eyes. He played a crucial role in the closing stages of the season. Denis has also pledged his faith in the Catalan club and has repeatedly asserted the claim that he would keep continuing.
Alena's performances in the few games he played with the first team were nothing short of promising. He is another talented midfielder from a long list of would haves and should haves from La Masia.
But, the modern world of football is largely driven by the transfer market and finance. Barcelona has already made two big signings, namely Ousmane Dembele and Coutinho in the last two transfer windows.
Antoine Griezmann is also expected to join the Catalans at a high price. If Barcelona decides to replace Iniesta with a player from some other club, they'll be greeted in the transfer market with some tempting offers.
Eriksen and Pjanic are already linked with Barcelona and can provide a good alternative to the Don. Arthur from Gremio is set to arrive in the coming few months and could solve the problems in the void that Xavi left, and hence maybe a transfer is the only viable option to make up for these legendary footballers.
Only time would tell how Barca replaces someone as magical as Andres, but they must try and try hard for the greater good.