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Barcelona prodigy could take over Messi’s #10 jersey next season



Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

Lionel Messi’s departure at Barcelona left behind a void impossible to replicate or fulfill. The greatest ever player, doing it for one team, for 15 years, while winning everything. Football had never seen something like this before.

And it was clear that Barcelona were struggling to maintain the standards of yesteryears without the Argentine on the pitch, as well.

They were relegated to the Europa League in back-to-back seasons before eventually reaching the quarter-finals this year with a win over Napoli in the round of 16.

One of the key players during this tie was 16-year-old Lamine Yamal, who has taken the world by storm this season. Not only is the teenager having an unbelievable breakout year, but he is already one of the best players in his position across Europe.

And at this point, it seems almost inevitable that Yamal will be promoted to the senior team next season. But that promotion could come with a huge responsibility, as per a report by Catalunya Radio, relayed by SPORT.

The news claims that Yamal could take the #10 jersey upon his promotion next season, previously donned by none other than Messi, of course.

There are only three first-team numbers up for grabs as of now, namely #12, #24, and #10. Yamal could choose between these options or wait for players to leave which could open up some slots.

There are strong oppositions to the idea of Yamal taking the #10 at Barcelona, though. They believe that is too massive a responsibility to shoulder on a player who is not even legally an adult right now.

Ansu Fati was the player to don the #10 after Messi’s departure, and he is now at loan at Brighton & Hove Albion. And while that has not much to do with the number, it certainly does not bode well for any argument for it.

Alternatively, with Raphinha, Oriol Romeu, Jules Kounde, Andreas Christensen, and Marcos Alonso linked with an exit, jersey #11, #18, #23, #15, and #17 could become available.

#14, too, could be an option, with Joao Felix’s future up in the air. And of course, Sergi Roberto’s #20 and Joao Cancelo’s #2, both of whose futures are also undecided as of now.

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