Barcelona fans are asking for the club captain Sergio Busquets to get benched after his horror show against Real Madrid in the Supercopa de Espana semi-final.
The 33-year-old was at fault for Real’s opening goal after being dispossessed by Karim Benzema in the middle of the park. With Dani Alves out of position too, Vinicius Jr was quick to exploit the space to put his team ahead.
It might be the age doing the talking, but the club captain hasn’t performed well this season. For someone who was known for his deft touch and flawless passing, a return of nine failed passes during the match is a far cry from his usual standards. Even his overall statistics this season have failed to justify his place in the team.
In 19 La Liga outings, the club captain is averaging 0.4 unsuccessful touches. Furthermore, he gets dispossessed 0.4 times per 90 minutes coupled with an average of 1.6 fouls per game.
Reacting to his substandard return, fans have asked Xavi to bench Busquets and play Frenkie de Jong as defensive midfielder instead. The hashtag #BusquetsEnElBanquillo was trending on Twitter last night, translating to “Busquets On the Bench”.
“Give him the opportunity to cook, it’s been long enough. It’s time for prime Frenkie De Jong,” wrote one user on Twitter.
“Whoever rejected Paris, Manchester City, and Bayern Munich to fulfil his dream in Barcelona deserves at least his chance in his favourite position,” wrote another.
“I love Busquets with all my heart but he isn’t the same player he was anymore, replace him with Frenkie and let him ball in a pivot,” wrote another Barca faithful.
De Jong, a pivot in Ajax’s dream team of the past, has been used out of position more often than not this season; all this to accommodate Busquets. And this has come at a price of more unsuccessful touches (1.5) per 90 minutes.
All good things eventually find their course, and maybe it’s time for Barcelona to move on from someone who was vital in the past but is now becoming more of a liability in the middle of the pitch.