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Barcelona midfielder has four games to prove himself, could be a backup for Busquets

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Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Miralem Pjanic was one of the unlikely players to make the Barcelona squad for the pre-season tour to the United States.

Although the former AS Roma star was largely branded as an outcast earlier in the summer, the midfielder made quite the impression during the early weeks of the pre-season training under Xavi Hernandez.

The Bosnian international showcased his proficiency on the ball and offered the intelligence to find passes and thrive in tight spaces. His superior understanding of the game, coupled with his experience made him a standout feature in Barcelona’s training sessions.

It eventually rewarded him with a ticket to the US for Barça’s pre-season preparations. And, according to a report from SPORT, Pjanic will be awarded a total of just four games to prove himself before Barcelona make a decision on his future.

Although Xavi would have ideally wanted to give the Bosnian more opportunities, his €8 million per season salary is becoming an obstacle. Barça cannot sustain his wage if he remains an outcast in the team, so the player must perform quickly and make his case.

Xavi is certainly open to having Pjanic in the team next season, knowing Barcelona do not have any reliable alternative for Sergio Busquets. The Barça coach has decided to deploy Nico Gonzalez in the number six role next season, but Pjanic could be an excellent alternative.

However, the 32-year-old’s fate at Camp Nou will depend on how he performs in the upcoming friendlies.

Barcelona are slated to kickstart their US tour with a friendly against Inter Miami on July 20. Pjanic is expected to take part in the action, along with the newer signings such as Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen.

The Blaugrana will then play three more games against Real Madrid, Juventus and New York Red Bulls and Pjanic’s fate will be decided on how he fares in these four matches.

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