FC Barcelona are anticipated to be in the market for a few solid reinforcements that can help strengthen the squad’s prospects for all competitions next season. Having wrapped up the signing of Inigo Martinez and closing in on free agents like Gundogan, the Catalans still have their work cut out in terms of fully shielding the team from exits and humiliations.
Despite entering the final stages of his career, Sergio Busquets has proven to be a crucial component in Xavi’s system. The defensive midfielder may be on his last legs, but has gained appreciation for his ability to control games, liberate Frenkie de Jong in a double pivot and act as a ball-winner. In the right environment and management of minutes, the single pivot has done fairly well.
However, heading into next season with Busquets as the starting pivot for an incredibly long and arduous campaign does ring alarm bells as the veteran holding midfielder clearly cannot be expected to play week in and week out as a starter at 34 years of age.
In light of his age and dwindling athleticism, a new name has emerged in the papers: Sofyan Amrabat. According to Toni Juanmartí of RELEVO, everyone at the club believes Amrabat is the best option as new pivot signing, since he has the most consensus among board members.
The Moroccan possesses a variety of ball-carrying, press-resistance, and passing skills. (short, switches, etc). Off the ball, he covered the most distance (>80km) during the 2022 World Cup. His technicality is not his biggest asset, but highly decent. Halting transitions and forcing turnovers, Amrabat’s ball-winning profile complements De Jong to a great degree.
With the Dutchman requiring a more stationary holding midfielder that can maintain positional discipline as well as cover up for his defensive weaknesses, the Fiorentina man has the ingredients to slot right in. Considering a possible Messi arrival too, an athletic ball winner is much needed to strengthen the ranks.
Amrabat aids the sporting aspirations of Barcelona, while also ensuring Busquets can be preserved on a more frequent basis. Some necessary competition at the DM spot also may remove complacency.