Barcelona’s new-look lineup, sans Lionel Messi, following his leaving.
After Lionel Messi confirmed his departure from Barcelona, Express Sport examines how Ronald Koeman’s team may line up without the Argentina superstar.
Barcelona revealed on Thursday that Lionel Messi had departed the club, blaming the failure to renew his contract on La Liga’s financial constraints. With Ronald Koeman facing the prospect of playing without Argentina’s talisman next season, Express Sport examines how Barcelona would line up without him.
Marc Andre ter Stegen missed Euro 2020 due to knee surgery, which also kept him out of Barcelona’s season finale.
Barca are expected to be without the German for the start of the new season, while AS claimed last month that he could be back by mid-September.
Meanwhile, Koeman will most likely turn his attention to Neto, who has been linked with a move to Arsenal.
While Koeman has used a four-man defense in pre-season, the addition of Eric Garcia from Manchester City offers him plenty of options at center-back.
There are long-term concerns about Gerard Pique, who is already 34 and has had injuries this season, but he will add a wealth of experience to the team with Clement Lenglet and Garcia.
This summer, Barcelona signed Emerson Royal from Real Betis, the right-back having gained valuable experience with Brazil during their journey to the Copa America final.
The 22-year-old will battle for the right-back/right wing-back position with Sergio Roberto and Sergino Dest, with Jordi Alba likely to play on the opposite flank.
Frenkie de Jong will continue to play alongside Segio Busquets in central midfield, although Miralem Pjanic will also be pushing for a spot.
Following his strong performances for Spain at Euro 2020, Pedri will be in line for more action next season.
Memphis Depay, who joined Barcelona on a free transfer from Lyon this summer, looks ready to start in the new-look frontline.
Antoine Griezmann will try to fill the vacuum left by Messi’s departure, though Sergio Aguero will try to push him out of the starting lineup as the former Manchester City great aims for silverware triumph in his final years.
“Brinkwire Summary News” reports that they may be joined in attack by 18-year-old Yusuf Demir.