So it’s looking more obvious than ever. Lionel Messi would not probably be wearing the Barcelona shirt next season. Although the Argentine’s exit is less preventable, Ronald Koeman is preparing for a squad overhaul, which would see many of the first team names leaving this summer.
The Blaugrana endured their worst ever season in history last term hence the spotlight would be definitely on Koeman, who will be in the sidelines next season.
Here is how the Catalan club would line up under Koeman?
Formation: 4-2-3-1/ 4-3-3
Goalkeeper: Marc Andre ter Stegen, substitute: Inaki Pena
Inaki Pena is expected to be the club’s goalkeeper until Ter Stegen returns from his surgery layoff. Neto can still find another destination this summer.
Defenders: Nelson Semedo, Eric Garcia, Clement Lenglet, Jose Gaya
Gerard Pique is likely to make room for his successor Eric Garcia, who has been speculated to return to the Nou Camp from Manchester City. Clement Lenglet will retain his spot as a starter after an impressive lost season. Valencia left-back Jose Gaya is said to be wanted by Barca to replace the long-time inhabitant Jordi Alba. Nelson Semedo will remain as the starting right-back since the Catalans are not thinking about bringing a new right-back this summer
Midfielders: Frenkie de Jong, Miralem Pjanic, Riqui Puig
Several first-team midfielders including Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal and Sergio Busquets have been put on the transfer exchange by the club. Even though they can survive next season, chances are minimal for them to find regular game time. Frenkie de Jong will be backed by Koeman to be the metronome of the midfield as the Dutch gaffer had already spoken about the intentions. New signing Miralem Pjanic and the up-and-coming Riqui Puig will be the central midfielders. Coutinho can help Puig grow up if the Brazilain doesn’t find a suitor next season. Pedri can also enjoy significant game time as a substitute.
Forwards: Ansu Fati, Antoine Griezmann, Francisco Trincao
Ansu Fati and Trincao would be the wingers as they have shown the potential to be starters. Fati was impressive with the first-team last season while Trincao turned out to be a revelation for Braga. With Luis Suarez expected to leave this summer or can’t be guaranteed as a starter, Griezmann can play as a false 9. The Frenchman has been handed a boost after the arrival of the Dutch manager. Barca will find it difficult to sign a new striker given their financial crisis.