3 potential winners and 2 losers if Xavi leaves Barcelona – analysis

Date:

Barcelona's Spanish coach Xavi looks on following the pre-season friendly football match between AC Milan and FC Barcelona, at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, on August 1, 2023.
Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

There is a lot of tension surrounding FC Barcelona in recent times. The Blaugranes have never been safe from media attention, but it could hardly be worse than it is right now. Much of the attention comes towards the fact that the position of Barcelona head coach is more vulnerable than ever.

With Xavi Hernandez no longer seen as a guarantee for the club, there is a belief that the Spaniard’s time could soon come to an end. In his place, recent reports highlight German coach Hansi Flick as a leading candidate, especially given his incredible success at the club level and that too with a club similar to FC Barcelona in terms of pressures and demands, Bayern Munich.

However, looking at the current team, not every player was equally important for Xavi. Hence, it now feels to be the right time to discuss three potential winners and 2 losers who emerge from the likely departure of Xavi Hernandez and the possible arrival of Hansi Flick.

Vitor Roque:

Most would argue that Vitor Roque is the player who has suffered the most under Xavi Hernandez. Despite being called midway through the season from Brazil, the young prodigious striker has hardly had any sort of importance within Barcelona. Much of this has been due to Xavi’s insistence on not giving him too many opportunities, which is something that could change as a result of the Spanish technician’s departure.

Robert Lewandowski:

Beyond Xavi leaving, the potential arrival of Hansi Flick would be a major boost for Robert Lewandowski. The Polish striker had arguably the single greatest season of his glorious career under the leadership of the German manager when Bayern Munich ended up winning a historic sextuple and Lewandowski was considered the favorite for the 2020 Ballon d’Or that was ultimately called off.

Under Flick’s tutelage, the veteran striker scored an impressive 81 goals in just 77 games, averaging 1.10 goals per game. With Flick’s potential arrival, one could argue that Lewandowski, who previously criticized Xavi for not starting enough attacking players, leading to a lack of service for him, could benefit the most.

Jules Kounde:

Without a doubt, the utilization of Jules Kounde as a right-back was a creative decision made by Xavi Hernandez himself. In the event that the current Barcelona coach leaves, the French defender may have more opportunities to return to the role of a central defender, which remains his ideal position.

Sergi Roberto:

It is hardly surprising to see Sergi Roberto on this list of losers in the event that Xavi Hernandez actually ends up leaving. The Spanish midfielder, well past his best and most impactful playing days, is primarily only in the team for next season due to the current Barcelona coach’s insistence that he remains an important player for him.

However, if Xavi departs, the 32-year-old Barcelona captain might not experience the same level of importance he felt under the current coach. Additionally, with his contract set to expire this summer and no renewal agreement officially signed, he could end up leaving the club.

Inigo Martinez:

Unlike Sergi Roberto, Inigo Martinez seems to be driven into the team based on merit. However, the faith that Xavi Hernandez keeps in him despite his injuries or occasionally lackluster performances may not resonate that well should a new coach come in.

Moreover, the player is not even registered yet for next season, so there is no telling how secure his future would be if a new coach arrives before it is settled.

Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun is a life-long fan of FC Barcelona and an avid enjoyer of all things Blaugrana. Having fallen in love with the club for the way they defined football for him, he now spends his time watching games, analyzing the happenings in them, and digesting any and everything related to his beloved Catalan club. He also writes as an author for Barca News Network hoping to deliver the latest updates to his fellow ‘culés’.

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