FC Barcelona is currently facing some challenges in their squad composition. Despite the club’s efforts to strengthen the team in the midst of financial constraints imposed by the “fair play” regulations, two positions remain inadequately filled – the defensive midfield and the striker positions. In this article, we will delve into these gaps and discuss potential solutions to address them.
The departure of Sergio Busquets from the defensive midfield position came as a blow to the club’s plans. Xavi, the club’s manager, had hoped that Busquets would continue for at least another year. Unfortunately, the chosen candidates to replace him, Zubimendi and Kimmich, were not secured, leading to Xavi considering a cost-effective option in Oriol Romeu. However, the recent departure of Eric García, a versatile player who could have filled in as a defensive midfielder, has further complicated the situation. As a result, Frenkie de Jong has been tasked with assuming this role when Romeu is off the field. While de Jong is a highly talented player capable of adapting to various positions, his tendency to roam and not hold his position may present challenges during crucial moments of the game.
The club is closely monitoring the development of Pau Prim, a promising young player from the club’s youth academy, who is touted as the next Sergio Busquets. However, the management is exercising caution in thrusting him into such a critical role at a young age. Therefore, his inclusion in the first-team plans for this season is not currently on the agenda. The club recognizes the need to manage his progression carefully to ensure his long-term success.
On the striker front, the absence of a suitable backup for Robert Lewandowski has been a concern. However, the imminent arrival of Brazilian forward Vitor Roque in January provides some relief. Roque’s addition to the team will offer valuable support during the final stretch of the season. Until then, Lewandowski remains the sole reference point as the team’s pure central striker, with the possibility of promoting Ángel Alarcón from the club’s reserve team as a potential substitute.
Xavi’s current squad is relatively small, comprising 19 first-team players. The remaining three positions will be filled by players from the club’s youth academy, with Lamine Yamal being one of the prominent prospects.
Fortunately, the defensive line is well-covered, with all positions sufficiently doubled up. The goalkeeper position boasts the talents of Ter Stegen and Iñaki Peña, while Cancelo and Sergi Roberto offer depth at right-back. In central defense, Araújo, Koundé, Christensen, and Íñigo Martínez provide a solid foundation, and Balde and Marcos Alonso offer options on the left.
In midfield, apart from the defensive midfield position, all other positions are well-stocked. Pedri, Gavi, Gündogan, and Frenkie de Jong offer a formidable midfield lineup. Additionally, the versatile young talent Fermín provides further depth across multiple positions.
The attacking department also presents a positive picture, with both the right (Raphinha/Lamine) and left (Ferran Torres/Joao Félix) wings adequately covered. The only remaining piece of the puzzle is to double up on the central striker position to complete the team definitively.
To address the gaps in the squad, FC Barcelona’s management must explore potential transfer opportunities during the upcoming transfer windows. The club should prioritize securing a reliable defensive midfielder and a capable backup for Robert Lewandowski to ensure a well-rounded and competitive team.