Lionel Messi officially joined Paris Saint Germain on 10th August 2021 after being released from FC Barcelona as they were unable to register the players they signed due to already exceeding their La Liga salary cap.
So now, let’s see what remains of Barcelona and how will they compete in La Liga and overcome this difficult season without their best player in which their rivals Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid are getting even stronger.
Who will replace the G.O.A.T. at Barcelona?Embed from Getty Images
Easy, no one. No one can bring what Lionel Messi used to bring for FC Barcelona. Their signing of Memphis Depay can be viewed as a potential replacement for Messi but FC Barcelona needs to play as a team now more than ever as they don’t have the world’s best player in their team to rely on anymore.
The three games which FC Barcelona has played till date, in which they won two and drew one, the front three consisted of Martin Braithwaite, Memphis Depay and Antoine Griezmann.
But now, Antoine Griezmann has also left the club to join Atletico Madrid on a one year loan with an option to extend it for one more year and complete with an obligatory permanent transfer clause worth 40 million euros to be activated by 2023.Embed from Getty Images
Therefore, the most likely player now to replace Antoine Griezmann will be either Ousmane Dembele or Sergio Aguero. But as both of them are out injured and as expected to come back for training during mid-October, the player to get the nod will be Ansu Fati, who recently received the No. 10 jersey, which Messi used to wear.
The 18 years old has a lot of talent at such a young age and seems capable to fill in the boots of The Goat himself. Ansu Fati will be having till the mid of October to show his talent and to book his starting spot over Ousmane Dembele and Sergio Aguero.
Luuk De Jong and Phillipe Coutinho are two other options but they are unlikely to get much game time this season with the club also looking to offload the latter.
Barcelona’s Midfield and Defense
The midfield trio of Pedri, Frenkie De Jong and Sergio Busquets with Sergie Roberto and Riqui Puig as squad players looks good enough for FC Barcelona while the defensive pairing of Gerard Pique and Eric Garcia is also solid enough and with players like Clement Lenglet, Samuel Umtiti, Ronald Araujo and Oscar Mingueza, the club should not worry about signing any other midfielder or centre back in the next transfer window.
But, the position in which Barcelona looks weak is the right back. After the departure of Emerson Royale to Tottenham Hotspurs for a fee of 25 million euros, Sergino Dest is the only right back at the club. Any injury to him means Barcelona will be forced to play other players in that position which can heavily impact the on-pitch results of the team. Therefore, we can expect Barcelona to buy a right-back when the transfer window opens up again in January once their finances stabilize.