The departure of Leo Messi from Barcelona came as a shock to many. Not even the player thought he would leave after believing there was a game plan to accommodate him in the only club team he had played for his whole life. However, as he donned the colours of PSG where he will be playing, it began dawning on his passionate supporters that he was no longer one of them. Such a scenario was almost impossible to comprehend just a few days ago. Barcelona is in a financial crisis, and it was necessary to cut their wage bills even if it meant losing stars such as Messi and Antoine Griezmann. While it is a blow to the Catalan giants, their manager Ronald Koeman is upbeat that they will weather the storm and come out victorious. If you are in India and support Barcelona and want to predict how they will fare in the coming season, head over to legit Indian bookies like Comeon for a wide range of sporting events to bet on and also get to enjoy some of the best odds in the market.
Who could replace Messi?
To say or think anyone could replace Messi at Barcelona in the foreseeable future would be unrealistic. This is because of the high standards he achieved at the club over his many years there. However, Memphis Depay of the Netherlands looks to be the one most likely to be handled the mantle to take from Messi if his recent performances for both club and country are anything to go by. Depay has two goals in his first three games for Barcelona already and even scored a hat-trick in the international break. Memphis Depay’s number 9 jersey is also the highest seller, following the departure of Messi. This goes to show how much buzz the Dutchman has been
generating since arriving at Barcelona. Koeman believes that it is time Barcelona started working as a team instead of relying on the brilliance of a single individual if they are to experience brighter days ahead. Although he expects it to be difficult, he is optimistic and ambitious at the same time with the direction Barcelona is moving.
Who else has Barcelona added, and could they make an impact?
Barcelona has also added to their squads Luuk de Jong, Eric Garcia and Sergio Aguero. Sergio Aguero is a prolific striker renowned for his time with Premier League giants Manchester City, but injuries continue to hamper his much-awaited debut. Koeman believes Luke de Jong will add a different profile with his height when it comes to attacking.
Which tactics will Koeman likely use without Messi in the side?
While the coach affirms that the team does not have to change tactically, he acknowledges there are things they can do when they do not have the ball. Nonetheless, he believes that without the over-dependence on the brilliance of Messi, the team is now structured better. By Messi moving on to PSG, the wage bill for Barcelona dropped from 110% to 80%, moving closer to what is demanded by La Liga. Koeman has also revealed talks to extend his contract.