Barcelona's preseason came to an end on Wednesday, and the Blaugrana put on a show in the Camp Nou opener, winning the 51st Joan Gamper Trophy with an entertaining victory over Sampdoria, in a match that featured plenty of positive things to look for in Barça's new season. Here's a few takeaways from what we saw at the Catalan capital:
1 - Lucas Digne is a real threat to Jordi Alba
To be honest, this is everything I wanted. Alba is one of the best left-backs on Earth, but ever since Adriano Correia began to decline, the Spaniard had no real competition within the squad, and was constantly playing without having to worry about his place on the side, which caused him to have a very poor campaign last season. Now, after just two friendlies, new signing Digne proved he can be a very good competition for the starting job. He's really comfortable on the ball, he is a competent passer and has impressive awareness to make runs and provide width on the left side. He was repeatedly open whenever Leo Messi had the ball, and the Argentinean picked up Digne's run over and over again. The left-back is a huge part of Barça's game, and if Alba is not at his best, he will lose the job to his backup, because now his backup is as good as him.
2 - BREAKING NEWS: Arda Turan is a winger
It took Luis Enrique more than six months, but he finally accepted that Arda is not a central midfielder. This is not a knock on Turan, he's just not made for that position, especially in the Barça system. Enrique then gave the Turkish 90 minutes on the wing, and Lucho would be stupid and stubborn to ever try Arda in the middle again. Turan was comfortable, gave a real contribution and was great support for Iniesta and Digne. This trio helped tear Sampdoria apart in the first half, and if it wasn't for Messi, Arda could be in contention for Man of the Match. Arda should start the SuperCup against Sevilla as a replacement to Neymar. It's clear he's at his best there, and now there's Rafinha, André Gomes and Denis Suárez to play in the midfield behind Rakitic and Iniesta. There's just no need for Turan out of position anymore thanks to squad depth, and Arda can finally begin to show his talents. We might have forgotten, but this dude is amazing at football. He just needs to be a winger.
3 - Sergio Busquets is amazing again
I was going to write a big paragraph, but sometimes a GIF is worth a million words:
"He's best there is playing one-touch. Busquets doesn't need more. He controls looks & passes in one touch." - Xavi. pic.twitter.com/UlQtflsbnA— Fiaz Hamsath (@fiazhamsath) August 10, 2016
You are simply fantastic, Busi. Welcome back.