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Barcelona could end up retaining exit-linked Spanish midfielder to replace Busquets



Photo by JOSE JORDAN/AFP via Getty Images

Sergio Busquets has played his final game for FC Barcelona. As scary as it is, the Catalans are now officially in the post-Busquets era, one that they have dreaded for a long time now.

Of all of the members of Barcelona’s golden generation in the last decade, the defensive midfielder was perhaps the least appreciated. Yet, it became clear as the years passed that he would be the most difficult piece to replace.

Joan Laporta and co. are now on a goose hunt to find the right profile to replace the departing Spaniard.

Some of the options liked by the board include Martin Zubimendi, Ruben Neves, and Joshua Kimmich. Mundo Deportivo now bring the name of a homegrown player as a possible solution,

According to the Spanish publication, Barcelona do not rule out that Nico Gonzalez could stay under Xavi next season. The La Masia graduate has been known for his ability to operate as a pivot, although he can play as an interior if needed.

The 21-year-old made his debut for Barcelona’s senior setup around the same time as Gavi. However, he was deemed as surplus ahead of the 2022-23 season, and Xavi Hernandez preferred him to go out on loan to gather experience.

The midfielder has thus spent the past year at Valencia, hoping to master and refine his skills in the trade. Despite repeated fitness struggles, he has made 25 La Liga appearances for the Mestalla-based side and averages just under an hour per game.

Earlier this week, Busquets himself gave an interview where he names the players best placed to replace him from a tactical standpoint. Nico Gonzalez was one of the names suggested by the former captain himself, as he said,

“We also have players at home. We have Nico, who is on loan, and I think he is doing very well. You have to give opportunities to players from La Masia.”

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