A mainstay in their back-line, Gerard Pique has been Barcelona’s leader and defensive rock for the better part of the last decade, but even the Spaniard is nearing his end.
450 appearances, 7 La Liga titles, 3 Champions League crowns, 9 Spanish Super Cups, 6 Spanish Cups and a host of other trophies, and yet Barcelona superstar Gerard Pique isn’t done. The former Manchester United star re-joined his boyhood club in 2008 and hasn’t looked back, flourishing in and for Spain.
However, despite hitting new levels under manager Ernesto Valverde and rewarded with a contract till 2022, Pique is slowly growing older and at 31 years old, Barcelona need a long-term replacement for their rock. Given the fast-counter attacking nature of modern day football, the Catalans need to adapt and finding someone to replace Gerard Pique is easier said than done.
But despite that, world football has atleast five capable stars who can hopefully fill the Spaniard’s shoes for Barcelona. Here are five potential replacements:
#5.) Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen)
Just 22 year old, Tah joined Leverkusen back in July of 2015 for a mere €7.5 million from Hamburger and since then has gone on to become the Bundesliga side’s rock. A gigantic presence at the back, Jonathan Tah has been absolutely solid and the bedrock of a side looking to chase after Champions League spot this season. However, given his size not too many expect him to be quick but the German international has defied his critics.
Tall, brilliant in the air and exceptionally strong, the 22 year old has flourished at Bayer Leverkusen making just over a 100 appearances for the Bundesliga side. Not only that, his passing and ball-control are on par for a modern day central defender and exactly what Barcelona are looking for in a potential replacement.
However, the 22-year-old has recently signed a long-term contract with the club, potentially keeping him at Leverkusen till 2023. But that hasn’t deterred Barcelona in the past, and it certainly shouldn’t make too much off a difference now.