The defensive midfielder has been with the LaLiga club since 2008.
An end of an era bestows upon Barcelona. With Lionel Messi reportedly actively looking to leave the club, they are going through a paradigm shift of sorts. It’s ‘out with the old’, ‘in with the new’ type of mentality for the Blaugrana, even with or without taking the captain’s involvement into perspective. Among the ones who the club want to move on is sturdy defensive midfielder Sergio Busquets, who has been part of the team for more than a decade.
The experienced Spaniard has grown slower, wearier with his age and the pathetic performance in the embarrassing 2-8 loss to Bayern Munich felt like the final nail in his career at the club. Barca are now apparently looking to offload and replace him with new blood In the holding midfielder position here we take a look at the five players who can replace Sergio Busquets at the club.
5. Marcelo Brozovic
The Inter Milan defensive-midfielder is the ideal replacement for Busquets, as he possesses enough experience and graft to seamlessly settle in for him at the centre of the pitch. Be it during Inter Milan’s highs or lows, Brozovic has remained a sturdy midfielder for the Nerazzurri and proved himself as one of the best in his positions. The 27-year-old knows exactly when to slot into perfect areas to steal the ball off oppositions and has quite the formidable presence to dictate things in the middle.
He averaged 2.1 tackles, 1.4 interceptions and 1.2 clearances (stats via WhoScored) per game last season for Inter, while his 89.9% passing accuracy proves how precise Brozovic is with his passing. The tenacious and hard-working player is clever enough to be the proactive defensive midfielder Barca are looking to add more steel and grit to reenergize their midfield next season.
4. Wilfred N’didi
Wilfried N’didi has proven himself as one of the best ‘working class’ midfielders of the Premier League in recent years, basically running the show for Leicester City through the middle. The Nigerian always brings his 110% to the pitch, working his socks off to help his defenders and aid his team moving forward. N’didi averaged four tackles, 2.5 interceptions and 1.9 clearance per game last season for the Foxes, which itself proves his insane work-rate from a defensive position.
The 23-year-old is guaranteed to get even better as he matures and he is an absolute cyborg when helping his side dominate the midfield. If Barca are looking for a long-term, more proactive replacement to Busquets, the tenacious N’didi is the ideal option –even if he isn’t ‘programmed to the Barca way.’
3. Bruno Guimaraes
Bruno Guimaraes was perhaps one of the surprising revelations from the UEFA Champions League last season, being an impenetrable rock in midfield for Olympique Lyonnais. The 22-year-old was easily adaptable to a more attack-minded defensive midfielder or a makeshift centre-back for Lyon, slotting into different areas according to different situations to aid his team.
The youngster is extremely clever with his progressive passing to create counter-attacks and is mentally and physically strong enough to help his side deal against blistering attacks. Guimaraes proved himself a determined enough character to thrive at bigger clubs and he seems to be confident enough to be a future upgrade over Busquets.
2. Marc Roca
If Barcelona want a bit of an ‘internal’ replacement to Busquets, Roca seems the ideal person to turn to. While he might be a bit of a controversial figure for Blaugarana faithful being a former Espanyol midfielder, the 23-year-old could be a cunning buy to add more steel and creativity to their midfield next season.
Not only is the aggressive, hard-tackling player a tenacious figure who will work himself to the limit, but he is clever enough to create chances from deep. Like Busquets, Roca also possesses the unique ability to fling defence-splitting long-balls from deep and is especially cunning with his accurate free-kicks. With Espanyol relegated, Roca could be bought for a low fee in this current market and can be an influential part of Barca’s midfield in future.
1. Eduardo Camavinga
Barcelona are looking to script their ‘new era’ after the Champions League embarrassment by building around younger players. If they want to replace Busquets with a spectacular young talent, Eduardo Camavinga is ideal for their cause. The 17-year-old midfielder is an absolute powerhouse in the middle, with his brilliant distribution, ability to move ahead with the ball and create opportunities making him a lucrative option for Barca.
The Frenchman seems to be the next big thing to come out from his country and in the similar mould of N’Golo Kante. Real Madrid are intent on signing Camavinga next season but Barca could get one over them by investing in this clever young midfielder as an ideal long-term successor to Busquets.