Xavi on the Hunt for a ‘Number 10’: Barcelona’s Search for Creative Midfield Talent

Xavi on the Hunt for a 'Number 10': Barcelona's Search for Creative Midfield Talent

In his quest to strengthen Barcelona’s squad, Xavi Hernandez has identified a need for more talent and creativity in the team. He has urged club president Joan Laporta to make an effort in this regard. While Xavi initially hoped that Lionel Messi would fill the role of the player he is currently seeking, the Argentine superstar’s departure has left a void that needs to be filled. Xavi firmly believes that the team still requires a player with exceptional skills, game understanding, and a killer final pass, despite having a highly talented midfield lineup.

According to SPORT, Two potential options have emerged as candidates to fill this crucial role: Bernardo Silva and Giovani Lo Celso. However, securing Silva seems like a near-impossible task, just as it has been in the previous two summers, unless Barcelona manages to make an extraordinary sale. The Portuguese midfielder has been flirting with a move away from Manchester City for three summers now, but a transfer has never materialized.

Interestingly, Silva has consistently improved his performance each year. On the other hand, Lo Celso, who plays for Tottenham Hotspur, is a more viable option. The relationship between Barcelona and Tottenham is excellent, and the London club is also interested in signing Barcelona’s Clement Lenglet. Moreover, Lo Celso’s market value is considerably lower than Silva’s, making his acquisition more feasible.

Last season, Barcelona lacked creativity and verticality in their gameplay. Among all their midfielders, they only managed to contribute 21 assists. It was surprising to see that Pedri, who is usually more influential in the penultimate pass, provided only one assist. Among the midfielders, Gavi stood out with seven assists, while Sergio Busquets and Frenkie de Jong contributed four goals each. Kessié provided three assists, and Pablo Torre managed two. Ilkay Gundogan, who recently joined Manchester City from Barcelona, not only showcased his goal-scoring ability but also provided seven assists for the team.

Xavi recognizes that the success of the previous season was built upon defensive stability. However, there was a lack of brilliance and talent, particularly in European competitions. Hence, the coach insists on bolstering the midfield with creative options, especially if he intends to continue playing with four midfielders, as he did last season.

As of now, the technical department’s plan is to exclude Kessié and Pablo Torre from the first team at the start of the season, while introducing a new reinforcement in midfield. However, since the summer transfer window is long, it is possible that the new signing may not be available for the team’s pre-season tour in the United States.

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