It’s crazy how good Barcelona have looked this season despite some major tactical shifts at the start of the campaign.
Few would have imagined that the club would be flying high, as it is today, back when the season first kicked off. The ingenious shift from a traditional 4-3-3 to the more dynamic 4-4-2 deployed now, courtesy of Ernesto Valverde, has changed the way the club plays entirely.
The essence of the team has returned despite the odds and few would question the manager’s credentials.
However, there is one slight problem at Barcelona’s doorstep. Should the club build its squad for a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-3?
Barcelona has several midfielders at the moment which has helped the team acclimatize to the new formation. With several names leaving, or on “potential-sales” lists, it begs the question of what is the goal moving forward?
Barcelona has made some major investments in the past two windows, namely Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho. Despite their obvious abilities, both are better suited to the 4-3-3 as opposed to a compact 4-4-2.
The midfield, however, is a different story. Barcelona has a number of players capable of playing as central midfielders but few have the defensive ability to play in a double pivot. Ivan Rakitic has been excellent in this transition, but he isn’t our future and neither is Sergio Busquets.
One obvious name that comes to mind is Sergi Roberto, but he seems pretty occupied on the flanks at the moment to play through the middle. The more recent mention of Arthur from Brazil is another question mark. If Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi will continue to play up-top, and the expensive Dembele and Coutinho are locked on the flanks, then shouldn’t Barcelona invest in defensively astute midfielder capable of holding the fort?
Barcelona needs to plan fast and act faster to survive this ever-expanding inflation-bubble that has hit the “post-Neymar” footballing world.
Hopefully, the club has these things covered, or we could potentially be looking at a mess of a squad in the next few windows.