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Barcelona forward could get ‘Thomas Muller role’ under Hansi Flick

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Hansi Flick’s arrival as Barcelona’s head coach signals a new era with renewed ambitions.

With the personnel at his disposal, it is exceedingly likely that the German manager will look to emulate many of his ideas from his successful stint at Bayern Munich.

One of the players who may benefit tremendously under his tutelage is the rising sensation, Fermin Lopez.

Fermin’s strengths

In his debut season with the team, Fermin has scored an impressive 11 goals. In fact, no Barcelona midfielder has scored more goals than Fermin Lopez this season.

La Masia excels at producing nifty and elegant midfielders who allow the entire team to function. However, there has been a lack of attacking midfielders with high goalscoring potential who have broken into the first team.

Fermin’s rise might change that trend. After all, his attacking instincts set him apart from others, as he is at his best when closer to goal.

Crashing into the penalty box with a sudden penetrative burst, the Spaniard’s movements are hard to contain.

And when the opportunity to test the keeper or rattle the net arises, Fermin seldom lets it slip away.

Moreover, between the lines, Fermin has an exceptionally tidy profile. There is potential for Fermin Lopez to develop into an elite player in the attacking pockets, an area Flick could further refine.

Fermin could be Flick’s Raumdeuter

(Photo by LUKAS BARTH-TUTTAS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Keeping these strengths in mind, there is reason to believe Fermin could replicate the role of one of Flick’s most successful players: Thomas Muller.

Flick utilized Muller as a right-sided midfielder in a 4-2-3-1 formation, but in truth, entrusted him with a great deal of freedom owing to the German’s innate ability to exploit space.

Muller was known to locate gaps in the defense, particularly when used as an attacking midfielder. However, he found space more frequently by venturing into half-spaces and taking advantage of lapses in concentration.

By wedging himself between center-backs, his darting runs allowed him to enter the opposition box with tons of freedom.

This instinctive ability to arrive in uncontested space draws many parallels with Fermin Lopez, as he particularly thrives on making runs off the defender’s shoulder. The moment his marker loses sight of him, he strikes.

On top of that, Fermin has the ball striking to match the elite numbers Muller dished out under Flick.

After all, he is capable of scoring a diverse range of goals, whether from headers, close distance, or range.

Final remarks

Given Fermin’s exceptional pressing and tireless work ethic, Flick would also relish having a constant livewire buzzing around the pitch.

The key area where Fermin falls short compared to Muller is in chance creation; his 4.96 progressive passes per 90 minutes are not quite up there.

Meanwhile, the Bayern Munich man’s 21 assists were more than any other player in the Bundesliga in 2019/20.

Still, at 21 years of age, Fermin has a long way to go and his development could certainly be honed under a manager who has experience employing a profile of his mold.

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