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Why Barcelona’s post-Busquets midfield looks very promising | La Liga 2019-20

  • How the Barca’s midfield will look like the post-Busquets era?
Roshan Verma
Modified 01 Mar 2020, 17:34 IST

FC Barcelona - Sergio Busquets
FC Barcelona - Sergio Busquets

The success of the teams depends hugely on the midfielders. They are the link between defense and attack that’s why their importance is more than any other player on the field especially for a team like Barcelona it matters even more as their game relies on possession, fast exchanges, and creative passing patterns that can keep the pressure on the opponents throughout the game.

Sergio Busquets is one of greatest defensive midfielders world has ever witnessed. His contribution and dedication to his club is unmatchable. He has played 565 matches for his club and scored 15 goals so far in his career. He is still good but the time for hanging up the boots is near. He is 31, Ivan Rakitić turning 32 this month and Arthuro Vidal will turn 33 in May this year. Rumours are also there that the Spanish great can follow the path of former teammates Xavi Hernández and Andrés Iniesta and can play in any Asian league, Major League Soccer or any other less competitive league after leaving Camp Nou. With both Rakitić and Vidal linked with transfers in the coming summer transfer window, the speculations are already high about how the Barca’s midfield will look like post-Busquets era? Here the 3 players who will carry the club's midfield in years to come.

#3 Arthur Melo

Arthur Melo ina ction against Getafe CF
Arthur Melo inaction against Getafe CF

Barcelona usually plays with 2 central midfielders and 1 defensive midfielder. So according to their preferred formation, Arthur Melo should be one of those two central midfielders. The 23-years old Brazilian has played 65 matches for the Spanish giants scoring 4 goals out of which 3 goals are in ongoing 2019-20 season. He is a footballer with quick movements, amazing ball control, and vision. With all that his great passing abilities make him a very valuable asset.

Just after Arthur arrived at Camp Nou, Lionel Messi said, “There are differences, but he has a style similar to Xavi. He always wants the ball, he doesn’t lose it. He plays it short. He is a very secure and reliable player."

#2 Riqui Puig

Riqui Puig is a bonafide talent in midfield
Riqui Puig is a bonafide talent in midfield

Pep Guardiola, Pedro, Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez, Busquets, Iniesta, and the list goes on. La Masia has produced some of the world’s finest footballers on such a consistent basis. However, the production of quality players has gone down in recent years. But a 20-year old La Masia kid, Riqui Puig is making headlines and knocking the door of the senior team for a long while now. He is a star of Barcelona B side. His standout performances and sheer hard work is the reason why he is traveling more often with the first team for the last couple of months.

This pocket dynamite should be the other central midfielder with Arthur. He is a pass-master and loves to play attacking football. Fans have already started comparing him with Spanish legend Iniesta because of his creative and aggressive football. He hasn’t played much for the first team so far but his performance in the limited opportunities that he got in the first team has been outstanding. 

#1 Frenkie De Jong

Frenkie de Jong in the midfield against Real Madrid
Frenkie de Jong in the midfield against Real Madrid

Frenkie de Jong is one of the world’s most exciting young talents. The Catalan giants signed him in the last summer window. Good defending skills, amazing vision, and top-notch passing skills make this 22-year Dutchman a perfect candidate to take the defensive midfield position after the retirement of Sergio Busquets. He was a defensive midfielder in his last football club, Ajax and his performance there was outstanding. At present, he is playing as a central midfielder. Not just this, his dribbling skills, press resistant and aggressive game allows him to play in more attacking positions. He is more versatile than any other midfielder in the current Barça team. This gives a kind of balance to the team.

No other Barcelona player has appeared in more games this season than De Jong. He has played 35 games for Barcelona with 2 goals and 4 assists in his bucket so far. He is an extremely talented young footballer who is only going to get better with time.

Also see | I'm not going to give in – Puig determined to become a Barcelona regular


Published 01 Mar 2020, 17:34 IST
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