Barcelona left with only one attacking midfielder for season opener


New Barcelona head coach Hansi Flick
Photo Courtesy: The Official website of FC Barcelona

There are only a few weeks left till FC Barcelona start their 2024-25 league campaign and the Catalan club’s fans will be doubly excited to see their team back in action with the managerial change that saw Xavi Hernandez getting replaced by Hansi Flick at the end of the last season.

The German tactician’s appointment will bring several changes with it, and a lot of these changes will be manifest in the way the team plays on the pitch. One of these changes that most observers are expecting is that of the formation, as Flick is expected to start games with a 4-2-3-1 setup.

In such a system, the midfielder playing just behind the strikers plays a very important role in the game, and as Mundo Deportivo has noted, even before the season has started, there are problems arising for Flick in this particular position.

If Flick had all his players available, there would be four main options to play in this position, i.e., Pedri, Gavi, Fermin Lopez, and Ilkay Gundogan. However, Pedri, who recently suffered an injury while for Spain in the match against Germany, is unlikely to be available for the opening La Liga game of the 2024-25 season.

Similarly, Gavi, although going in the right direction with his recovery, will also not be able to make his return to the team by that time.

Fermin Lopez, who is having only minimal participation in the currently underway UEFA EURO 2024, is also called up for the upcoming Paris Olympic Games and is one of the players who is expected to play a lot for Spain in that tournament, and thus will naturally not be available for Barcelona.

Thus, only Ilkay Gundogan remains as the option to play in this position as the next league campaign starts for Barcelona. The German was knocked out of the tournament by Spain in the quarter-final stage, and although some Saudi sides are trying to lure him to the Middle East, he is expected to be the only player available for Flick to play this match as the attacking midfielder.

Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari has been covering Spanish football as a writer for Barca News Network for the last one and a half year and as an amateur football fanatic for more than 10 years. He mainly covers on and off-field happenings taking place at Barcelona including transfer news, administrative changes, match reports, and any other eventful news coming out of the club.

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