I'm glad to see that the club, especially the coach, has finally addressed the need to replace Busquets. It's a huge task for any current or incoming player to do so, but it seems crucial to Xavi's Barca system. The two players most fans would suggest, De Jong and Nico, are not really stylistic matches for the veteran.
De Jong played in a double pivot at Ajax. To my understanding, he did lots of things but his main habit was dropping between the CBs to receive the ball, and then carry it up the field. At Barca, he's been played mostly in an box-to-box interior midfielder role. Almost always alongside Busquets, even in the short-lived Koeman double pivot. It appears that Xavi does not see him as the Busquets successor, and even this season, in arguably his best game(vs Napoli), De Jong was playing as that advanced center mid. So none of the four coaches at Barca have viewed him as the answer to our defensive midfielder problems.
Nico Gonzalez is the other name. In La Masia, I believe he played as a center mid and started like that at Barca B, but played as the pivot because Jandro got injured. Under Koeman and Xavi he's been played as an interior. That's probably his best position.
Speaking of Jandro, could he be the answer? Certainly the most similar player to Busquets that Barca B can offer, it seems that his step to the first team has been put on hold due to constant injuries. Xavi mentioned him in his most recent press conference, I really hope we can see him for one match, he is still young at 21 years.
Another option for us would be to go out and sign a replacement. We've been linked to Tchouameni, Zubimendi, Ruben Neves, and Marc Roca. Tchouameni is either going to Madrid or Liverpool, so he's out. Zubimendi I don't know too much about, but he's fairly young at 23 and is a starter for a very good Sociedad side. Neves would be pretty expensive, as he is not pushing for a transfer away from Wolves, and they do not want to sell him either. Marc Roca... doesn't inspire me. I know he was good with Espanyol but he's hardly played at all since moving to Bayern.
We could also change the system, but again that poses problems for Xavi as Busquets is a crucial part of how he wants us to play. Could a double pivot of Kessie and De Jong functions? Pedri and Gavi could play as the attacking midfielder while the double pivot shares defensive responsibilities while still being dynamic. Next season is huge for Xavi as he should be looking to transition legends such as Busquets, Pique, and Alba out of the team.
What do you guys think?