04
Dec 19

VALVERDE NEEDS TO FIND THE RIGHT MIDFIELD COMBINATION

Barcelona have struggled this season with manager Ernesto Valverde having to change his options in the team as they look forward to challenging for trophies. New signings, Antoine Griezmann, and Frenkie De Jong have endured mixed starts to the season.

There have been several blames towards the manager that he has lost the culture that made Barcelona the best team in Europe in the past decade. However, Valverde has had to work with the most unbalanced Barcelona squad in recent years.

The midfield, in particular, has been the major problem for Valverde. Pep Guardiola was able to bank on prime, Iniesta, Xavi and Busquet. The trio controlled games letting Lionel Messi focus solely on scoring goals.

Xavi was the creative passer, Iniesta the creative dribbler and Busquet the creative ball retention player. This was peak Barcelona that would pass teams to death with their ball movements and creativity. Cesc Fabregas and Thiago could also come from the bench and recreate a similar style like Xavi and Iniesta.

Luis Enrique met a fading Xavi and quickly got Rakitic to partner Iniesta and Busquet but crucially had Neymar in the attack.

This meant that there was less emphasis on retaining possession with the team looking to pick the front three of Messi, Suarez, and Neymar in dangerous positions.

Under Valverde, the team has become more reliant on Messi as Suarez has faded and Neymar is no more at the club. This means that the midfield has to come up with more creativity and goals to support the attack. This becomes more obvious when is not on the pitch which is partially why Valverde intends to use wide forwards to stretch the pitch.

The faster he gets a working midfield triumvirate the better for Barcelona and Frenkie de Jong, Arthur, and Busquet may be the solution.


19
Sep 19

BARCELONA STAR CLOSING IN ON TRANSFER

Coutinho has been linked with several clubs this summer as he seems to end his stay at Barcelona  PSG and Bayern Munich have shown interest, and the Brazilian is thought to be on his way to one of this clubs  is in a hurry to negotiate the departure of the Brazilian midfielder from the Catalan club.

GiulianoBertolucci, one of Philippe Coutinho’s representatives, was spotted on Wednesday morning in Barcelona. It is understood, that Bertolucci traveled exclusively to try to resolve the situation of the Brazilian midfielderthis week.

Before arriving in Spain, the Italian agent, partner of Kia Joorabchian, was in Paris engaging in conversations with Paris Saint-Germain which is one of the clubs interested in the former Liverpool player.

The future of Coutinho, however, is Bertolucci’s great concern at this time. Today, there are two possibilities for the South American player who won the Copa America with Brazil in the summer.

He could accept to be part of the player plus cash payment of the signing ofNeymar from PSG.The 27 year old could also make a direct transfer to the French club that does not include Neymar’s departure.

He also has the option of moving to Bayern Munich if the Germanchampion could reach a loandeal fromBarcelona with a purchase option.

Offloading Philippe Coutinho as soon as possible is one of the main priorities of Barcelona, ​​withrumours saying that the club is ready to loan the player for free.

In addition to the fact that Ernesto Valverde needs space in his workforce due to the arrival of Antoine Griezmann , the Brazilian has one of the highest salaries in the team: as he receives around 11 million euros per season.

Coutinho was seen as the heir to Xavi in the Barcelona midfield but has failed to justify the big money transfer that Barcelona invested in his signing. He was signed by the Catalan club in January 2018 for 160 million euros and his   contract runs until June 2023.