Sunday, February 5, 2023

Three Players Barcelona Should Look At As The Heir Of This Spanish Midfield Magician

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Anirban Sarkar
Anirban Sarkar is a former columnist of The 4th Official. A huge East Bengal fan and has travelled over 1000 miles to see his team in action.

Andres Iniesta has been one of the most gifted playmakers in Europe for the last few years. The Barcelona playmaker has been very successful at Nou Camp but with age catching up, the Catalans need to find a suitable replacement for him as soon as possible.

Keeping in mind of his playing style, Iniesta can still contribute for a couple of more seasons fluently but as time goes on, his frequency of playing will be curtailed and whoever might come in, it is going to be very difficult to fill in his shoes.

Barcelona have struggled this season after the midfield department failed heavily. In the Champions League match against Paris Saint-Germain, Iniesta’s weakness got exposed as the PSG midfielders made merry in the centre of the pitch.

Barcelona did bring Andre Games in a bid to restore stability but he proved to be an embarrassing signing. However, with the summer window there to be taken advantage of, the Catalans will be looking for a decent long-term replacement for him.

Marco Verratti

The one name that comes to everyone’s mind is Marco Verratti. The Italian playmaker has established himself as one of the most complete playmakers and Barcelona should immediately launch a move for him to bring the Italian to the Camp Nou.

Barcelona need to rectify a few things and initiating a move for Verratti would be one of their priorities. Verratti has an acute vision of the game and his passing range is somewhat closer to  Iniesta’s ability. He loves to sit deep and control the pace of the game with his brilliant instinct.

Andre Gomes

The Portuguese midfielder has been the subject of sheer criticism after his first season with the Catalans. He was brought from Valencia to fill up the holes in the midfield. But to the contrary, his performance was so awful that he had managed only 17 starts.

Despite the debacle, Barcelona hierarchy is ready to keep their trust on him. Newly appointed manager Ernesto Valverde is a big fan of the player and it seems Gomes will have one more chance to prove his critics wrong.

Mateo Kovacic

A player of a very versatile quality. Kovacic is a bench warmer at the Santiago Bernabeu but he has done enough to earn a starting place for next season. The midfielder has the unique ability to bridge the gap between the midfield and the attack.

The 23-year-old thwarts the opposition attacks with ease, distributes the play quite excellently and helps his teammate to roam forward.

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