As the loss of Lionel Messi begins to properly dawn upon FC Barcelona, it now becomes apparent that the club cannot afford to sulk on those it no longer can bring to the side’s aid but rather focus on those who it can.
Xavi Hernandez, head coach of FC Barcelona, was one of those most vocal about his appreciation of Messi and his clear plans should the Argentine make his homecoming a reality. Alas, it was not to be.
Moreover, the loss of Sergio Busquets is set to take a massive toll in the case of Barca’s midfield and their rather apparent lack of experience without their captain, who is set to depart on a new chapter in his life.
As per SPORT now, however, Xavi has opened up in an interview with Jijantes about the kind of profile he wishes to see at FC Barcelona next season to be able to take his side to the next level.
Mentioning the name of former Arsenal player and current Al-Sadd player Santi Cazorla, who Xavi recalls as being one of the best talents he’d seen in training and having fallen in love with his game. The manager stated that his ideal would be a player of Cazorla’s style, and there are a select few in Europe who fit that classification.
Bernardo Silva exists as a technical parallel to Santi Cazorla. While a gap of almost 10 years exists between the 28-year-old Portuguese midfielder with that of the 38-year-old former Arsenal veteran, the latter’s ability to visualize, implement his passing range, and offer unnerving amounts of creativity alongside his ability to utilize both feet effectively are key takeaways when drawing similarities between Silva and Cazorla.
While Ilkay Gundogan does possess the know-how and technical brilliance of Santi Cazorla in its most raw form, he still retains his unique self in a different light than that of Bernardo Silva. Whereas the Portuguese midfielder possesses dribbling capabilities akin to that of Cazorla, Gundogan’s specialty lies in defensive work rate and effectiveness, something that may slightly bring him closer to Busquets rather than Cazorla himself.
Kevin De Bruyne / Martin Odegaard:
Lastly, while the options of Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and Norwegian midfielder Martin Odegaard are sportingly elite choices to ponder in terms of similarities to Santi Cazorla, Barcelona are currently in no position to consider their signings as they are classified as untouchables by their respective clubs, Manchester City and Arsenal, and would thus have significant price tags attached to them even if a sale were to materialize.