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How Barcelona Could Line Up Next Season: Lewandowski and Silva Among Targets

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Barcelona

Despite finishing 13 points behind champions and bitter rivals Real Madrid last season, there is a feeling of optimism under club legend Xavi Hernandez that has been abscent for a number of years.

For all their financial shortcomings, returning president Joan Laporta has performed incredibly well in the transfer window since steadying the ship following the ousting of his fraudulent predecessor, Josep Bartomeu.

The likes of Eric Garcia, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Sergio Aguero (now unfortunately retired) were brought in on free transfers in 2021 along with Ferran Torres, while AC Milan’s Franck Kessie and Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen followed suit this summer in two more high-profile free acquisitions.

While there have been rumours of several first teams players being made available on the market to alleviate the economic strain on the club, most notably Frenkie de Jong, we are taking a look at how Barcelona could line-up next season as they look to establish themselves among Europe’s elite once more.

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GK – Marc Andre Ter Stegen

No qualms over this one, Barcelona’s reliable first choice goalkeeper since 2016 is expected to remain at the Nou Camp for another year.

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Although he endured his toughest season yet last campaign, he has the backing of the board and the Blaugrana faithful.

RB – Cesar Azpilicueta

A potential new arrival on the right-hand side of defence, Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta is expected to complete a £7million move to Catalonia imminently. New owner Todd Boehly was pictured in the city this week where negotiations over his transfer were rumoured to have taken place.

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The 32-year-old has long been linked with a move back to his native Spain, and he would certainly be a welcomed addition to an often fragile Barcelona back-line.

CB – Andreas Christensen

As mentioned, Barcelona’s raid of Chelsea’s defence took its first step after they confirmed the signing of Danish centre-half Andreas Christensen.

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While this transfer has been on the cards for well over a year, his arrival adds valuable Premier League and Champions League experience and fits the profile of an intelligent, ball-playing defender who should slot into Xavi’s system with ease.

CB – Ronald Araujo

Much like the great Barcelona team of 2009 with Gerard Pique and Carlos Puyol, this centre-back paring has one technician and one rough and rugged figure.

Ronald Araujo is another gem to emerge from the La Masia youth system, and the towering Uruguayan is an era-defining defender who has boundless potential at just 22.

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A major presence in set-pieces, astute on the ball and commanding in his defending, he is future captain material.

LB – Jordi Alba

One of the few veterans left from the 2015 treble-winning side under Luis Enrique, Jordi Alba continues to be a loyal servant to Barcelona.

While his defensive positioning is questionable at times, his leadership and undoubted playmaking abilities on the left means he keeps his place for next season.

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Marcos Alonso, another Chelsea defender, is also expected to make the move to northern Spain along with Azpilicueta, which should provide some much needed rotation for the 33-year-old.

CDM – Sergio Busquets

Another of Barcelona’s last remaining old guard, Sergio Busquets has shown little sign of slowing down at 33.

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Now captain, the silky-smooth captain is rumoured to be thinking of a move to the MLS once the upcoming season has ended, but for now he will remain, as he has for so many years, at the heart of Barcelona’s passing machine.

CM – Pedri

There are not enough superlatives to describe this once-in-a-generation talent. The teenage midfielder made more appearances than anyone in a Barcelona shirt during the 2020/21 campaign, and was unfortunately hampered by injuries last season.

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Still only 19, the mercurial Spaniard will don the famous number eight jersey from next season which was famously worn by Andres Iniesta throughout his career. While it is easy to draw comparisons between the two, Pedri is a mind-blowing talent in his own right and will be key to Barcelona’s success next season.

We can imagine he is Xavi’s dream as a manager.

CM – Franck Kessie

With Frenkie de Jong seemingly edging closer to the exit with the club in desperate need of a substantial cash injection, it seems Franck Kessie may have a big role to play immediately after arriving.

Snapped up on a free transfer this summer, the Ivorian is an incredibly versatile player who operates primarily as a box-to-box midfielder. A selfless all-rounder who is just as comfortable snuffing out danger as he is weaving his way past opponents.

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This could turn out to be a very shrewd addition to Xavi’s renaissance – he reminds us a lot of former Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita who was a quiet yet integral part of Pep Guardiola’s success as manager.

Winger – Raphinha

One of three rumoured names that make up our forward line, Leeds United’s mercurial Brazilian Raphinha is rumoured to be very close to making the switch to Catalonia.

While his current club agreed a fee with Chelsea two weeks ago, it seems the 25-year-old is intent on seeing a life-long dream come true as he holds out for an improved bid from the Blaugrana.

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Typically silky on the ball as a Brazilian, he combines stupdenous close control with explosive speed, a knack for finding the net and an inherent hunger to win.

Winger – Bernardo Silva

This move very nearly happened a year ago when it looked as if Bernardo Silva was deemed surplus to requirements by Manchester City manger Pep Guardiola.

Fast forward to now, and the Portuguese magician was an integral part in the Cityzens’ Premier League success last season. With 13 goals and seven assists in all competitions, he certainly reminded fans everywhere of his supreme talent.

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While the probability of this rumour rests on Barcelona’s ability to acquire more funds, we can’t think of a player more suited to Barcelona than Silva.

Just imagine how Xavi could deploy his fleet-footed talents.

Centre-Forward – Robert Lewandowski

Again, this transfer may depend on whether Frenkie de Jong does indeed head for the exit this summer.

However, this has been arguably the most strongly rumoured transfer story of this window and the Poland captain is seemingly desperate for a move to the Nou Camp.

Will Robert Lewandowski add to his tally of eight goals in eight games tonight?

The 33-year-old is one of, if not the, best striker in world football and his record speaks for itself. 344 goals on 375 games for Bayern Munich is a truly stupendous return, and his arrival at Barcelona could be the catalyst in them challenging for La Liga once more.

This is seemingly the most likely transfer to happen out of the ones listed, with the player holding out for Laporta to make a move. Whether the club can feasibly think about bringing him in without causing further damage to their economic situation is the only road block.

 

 

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