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Barcelona misfit has ‘surprised’ Xavi in pre-season, could stay at Camp Nou

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Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

We are approaching almost two weeks since Barcelona kickstarted their preparations for the new season. The amount of training during this period has given the coaches and analysts enough time to assess the performance of several players.

While Franck Kessie’s excellent performances have already been well documented, it appears Miralem Pjanic, too, is raising many eyebrows, reports Mundo Deportivo.

Coming on the back of a loan spell at Besiktas, Pjanic is not on top of Xavi’s wishlist for the season ahead and he may still be offloaded if Barcelona receive an interesting offer.

However, the report suggests Pjanic has impressed many with his performance, attitude and tactical nous in training. He is often the first to understand the training methods while his technical prowess has helped him quickly settle into Xavi’s setup.

Pjanic had complained that Ronald Koeman’s system did not offer him enough possession. But there is no such problem under Xavi and the Bosnian is able to orchestrate things perfectly and rotate the ball in the middle of the park.

Pjanic’s vast experience at the highest level of football, along with his expertise in possession does indeed make him a tactically compatible option for Barcelona heading into the new season.

With Barcelona lacking any reliable alternatives for Sergio Busquets in the defensive midfield slot, the presence of the former AS Roma star could prove to be useful.

In fact, the Bosnian even played in the number six position during the first friendly against Olot and has been subsequently included in the pre-season trip to the United States.

It appears the midfielder will be offered the opportunity to prove his skills during the upcoming friendlies against Inter Miami, Real Madrid, Juventus and New York Red Bulls with Xavi potentially giving his final assessment afterwards.

While sanctioning the sale of Pjanic remains the priority for Barcelona, there is a possibility the experienced midfielder may continue at Camp Nou, especially given the fact that the club can afford his salary after he agreed a significant salary reduction last year.

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