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Barcelona manager wants to recreate ‘the best version’ of key duo in 2022



Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Despite the current position on the table and the financial problems off the pitch, Barcelona fans have reasons to be excited about the team heading into the new year.

While results might not have entirely gone their way of late, there are clear signs of improvement under new manager Xavi Hernandez. The emergence of more young talent like Gavi and Nico Gonzalez is a big positive while the impending addition of Ferran Torres from Manchester City adds to the excitement.

The Catalans are likely to look to add another player in the upcoming January transfer window, but as per SPORT, the focus of manager Xavi will now shift towards getting the best of his current roster, with particular emphasis on two key players who have recently gone off the boil.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Frenkie de Jong are regarded as two quality operators with huge roles to play for the Blaugrana. However, the duo has been well below their best of late, with the goalkeeper not appearing assured enough between the sticks while the midfielder has failed to influence proceedings as expected.

Xavi, now, will focus on changing that and has already taken steps towards helping the pair out of their muddle. The report states that the 41-year-old has offered assurances to ter Stegen that he is ‘untouchable’ amid speculations over his future.

The manager wants to see the best version of the 29-year-old, who has bailed Barça out with some spectacular stops throughout his 300 appearances for the club, while he also seeks to see the German star’s ball-playing and distribution qualities come to the fore again.

As for de Jong, there are no doubts about the quality that the Dutchman possesses. However, of late, he has lacked that bit of drive and influence from the middle of the park, that made him one of the club’s best players not very long ago. Xavi is keen to fill the 24-year-old with confidence as the team believe he can be a big difference-maker at his best.

With plenty left to play for in the second half of the season, both ter Stegen and de Jong will have key roles to essay. Having them back at their best could prove to be pivotal for the Blaugrana.

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