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Barcelona’s three options to take the number 10 shirt for next season

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(Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Barcelona’s decision to hand the coveted number ten jersey to Ansu Fati a few years ago came with high hopes and expectations.

However, the young talent’s stint fell short of glory, culminating in a disappointing loan spell at Brighton.

Although Fati is all set to return to Camp Nou in the summer, his future at the club remains uncertain. And in the midst of this uncertainty, Barcelona must address a key problem – finding a new suitor for the iconic number ten shirt.

A recent report from Diario SPORT has listed out three potential contenders for Barcelona, as far as the number ten shirt is concerned.

The Lamine Yamal Option

Leading the pack of potential successors is the homegrown talent, Lamine Yamal. Hailing from the revered Barcelona youth academy, Yamal embodies the essence of the club’s philosophy and possesses the flair and skill to don the number ten jersey with pride.

Many, in fact, would say Yamal resembles the ‘Ansu Fati’ option Barcelona had back in 2021. So his ascension as the new number ten will be associated with a certain degree of pessimism as well.

However, Yamal’s unique talent and character make him a compelling choice. Moreover, the fact that he is perceived as one of football’s rising stars adds to the commercial appeal, offering a significant boost to the club’s financial prospects.

Yamal could be leading the race to become the next number ten for Barcelona (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

Signing an Unquestionable ’10’

Alternatively, Barcelona could pursue a proven talent to fill the void left by Lionel Messi. Bernardo Silva emerges as a prominent candidate, as he boasts experience and pedigree at the highest level of football.

The Portuguese maestro, for his part, is keen on donning the Blaugrana colours aligns, which bodes well for the club. However, Barça’s operation to sign Silva could get complicated by financial constraints and competition from other suitors.

Bayern Munich, for one, have recently entered the race to sign the Manchester City superstar, who is prepared to take the next step in his career.

Could Fati be an option once again?

In the event that Yamal and Silva prove unattainable, Barcelona could reconsider offering the number ten shirt to Ansu Fati once again. At least that’s what the report suggests.

Will Bernardo Silva join Barcelona this summer? (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

However, the Fati option is very unlikely considering the fact that the winger himself is facing an uncertain future at Camp Nou and could be allowed to move on.

Fati is coming on the back of a mediocre loan spell at Brighton & Hove Albion. With Xavi still heading the Barça project, he is unlikely to put his faith in Fati again and may prefer other alternatives, either in the market or in the youth academy.

In fact, Fati’s departure could be viewed as an interesting opportunity for Barcelona to bring in fresh revenue, knowing the young attacker could fetch a high valuation.

Therefore, the report does add that the idea of Barcelona’s number ten shirt remaining vacant cannot be ruled out given the sheer lack of contenders.

At the same time, though, as Barcelona look to navigate the complexities of selecting a worthy successor to Messi, the Blaugrana may have to think beyond football and encompass the financial and commercial needs of the club.

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