Since Xavi left Barcelona back in 2015, Barcelona have struggled to dominate matches from the middle of the park. They have depended solely on their attacking trident of Neymar, Messi and Luis Suarez. Theses phenomenal attackers have been good, however, a good midfield is needed to make them rack up more numbers and dominate matches like before when they had a certain Xavi and a much younger Andres Iniesta. The pair were responsible for much of Barcelona’s success under Pep Guardiola, and while Iniesta remains at the club, he has looked a shadow of his former self without his partner in crime.
Barcelona won the Copa del Rey last season, click here if you want to back them again for the new season. Last season turned out to be an underwhelming season for the Catalans, and they risk falling behind their eternal and bitter rivals, Real Madrid if they fail to work on their midfield. The likes of Denis Suarez and Andre Gomes have been below par, as they have struggled to ingrain themselves into the Barcelona way of playing amid the huge expectation expected of midfielders at the club. From Luis Enrique to Guardiola to Xavi to Iniesta, the Blaugrana have prided themselves in creating the very best of the link between the defence and attack. The 5-time European champions have been linked to 24 year old Italian, Marco Verratti.
Verratti, the Paris St. Germain is keen on a new challenge after five hugely years in Ligue 1, but the diminutive playmaker was particularly heartbroken after his club capitulated 6-1 against Barcelona in last season’s Champions League Round of 16 second leg despite a first leg lead of 4-0. The former Pescara man has never hidden his ambitions of playing tor the top clubs in Europe, and Barcelona has joined the queue for his signature. The Catalans are expected to bid up to £80m for his signature, and he is every worth of that fee. The similarities between Verratti and Xavi are mind boggling. Dimunitive, excellent on the ball, he will offer his best years at the club as he is still just 24, but has experience to rival and put older players to shame.
The signing of Verratti will help Barcelona in their quest to return to the zenith of European football. New coach, Ernesto Valverde is under pressure to deliver after Real Madrid swept off the major trophies on offer last season. Legend, Xavi has also claimed that the Italian is the heir to his style of play as he can pick a pass out of almost nothing, and is so natural in the art of possession he feels like a La Masia graduate. Real Madrid are dominating Europe these days in scenes that will not augur well for people at Barcelona, but in Verratti, who they have been linked to in recent weeks, they have a ready-made player that could galvanize the whole of the team.
The MSN need help, as teams continue to plan more for them to negate them, but in have another outlet in Verratti, the Barcelona system of befuddling opponents with crisp, short and telepathic passing is set to be reignited.