Connect with us

Analysis

Five Barcelona players that could receive a massive boost under Hansi Flick

Published

on

Speculation about Xavi Hernandez’s successor at Barcelona is intensifying, with reports suggesting that Hansi Flick is all set to take over.

Despite his recent tenure with the German national team ending up in flames, Flick is one of the few managers in the world of football to have won a treble.

Indeed, the 59-year-old’s time at Bayern Munich continues to be revered immensely, as Barcelona especially got a first-hand look at his managerial talents in the famous 8-2 drubbing.

But having once dished out one of the Catalans’ worst defeats ever, the experienced coach is now poised to lead Barcelona, bringing his expertise to rejuvenate the team.

Here are five players who could particularly benefit by being under the tutelage of Flick.

Alejandro Balde

Alejandro Balde could benefit from Flick’s arrival. (GETTY Images)

Hansi Flick is known for his ability to maximize the potential of young, dynamic full-backs, as evidenced by his work with Alphonso Davies at Bayern Munich. In that respect, the raw talents of Balde could be polished into something special.

Balde, like Davies, possesses explosive pace, overlapping abilities, and a physical presence to not only take ownership of the entire flank; but also win defensive duels regularly.

The 20-year-old’s contributions last season were instrumental in Barcelona’s domestic double, but lacking refinement in his profile, Balde has yet to reach the elite level of Davies.

As such, under the mentorship of Flick, the Spaniard could learn to improve upon aspects he falls short in.

For example, he could improve the timing of his runs in the opposition’s third, an area where Davies particularly excels and even Jordi Alba outshone him before his departure.

Moreover, Flick could help Balde develop his cut-backs as well as his proficiency in 1v1 scenarios, considering the club have lacked dribbling specialists since Ousmane Dembele left.

Finally, the 59-year-old places emphasis on quick transitions and a fierce counter-press. Balde could improve his positioning and defensive awareness, as well as his ability to execute recoveries.

Robert Lewandowski

Robert Lewandowski
Lewandowski has tasted success under Flick in the past. (GETTY Images)

With Flick’s move to Barcelona now set to take place, Lewandowski would arguably be the happiest man in the dressing room. Under Flick, Lewandowski had an exceptionally successful time at Bayern Munich, winning multiple titles, including the Champions League.

His personal records were equally exemplary. In fact, during the 2020/2021 season, Lewandowski won the European Golden Boot, the FIFA Men’s Best Player, and the IFFHS World’s Best Top Goal Scorer.

Had the fickle finger of fate been kinder, Lewandowski was en route to even winning the Ballon d’Or.

Therefore, reuniting with Flick would certainly heighten the chance of replicating his previous success. Their familiarity could help the veteran striker seamlessly adapt to Flick’s system.

It must be noted that Lewandowski is enduring a difficult patch at the club presently, as complaints about a lack of scoring situations have been arising, with the Poland national team manager not holding back either.

But Flick’s arrival could certainly enable the Polish talisman to turn his ailing fortunes around. After all, the coach’s gameplan at Bayern was to allow the forwards to have as much of the ball as possible.

Even though Lewandowski missed many chances, he still emerged as the Golden Boot winner due to the sheer number of opportunities he was presented.

As such, with the German manager, Lewandowski will be able to start afresh and return to doing what he does best: scoring a ridiculous amount of goals.

Ilkay Gundogan

Ilkay Gundogan
Gundogan to reunite with Flick. (GETTY Images)

Ilkay Gundogan led the German national team under Flick as captain, demonstrating their deep regard and understanding for one another.

The German’s first season at Barcelona has seen him morph into one of the club’s most crucial players and his importance would certainly rise even further under the former Germany coach.

With Gundogan specializing in making late runs inside the opposition box and being a clinical long passer, his strengths would undeniably be put to strong use by Flick, who relishes playing an expansive brand of football.

In fact, the player even praised Flick publicly, indicating the pair’s strong relationship.

I can only say that Hansi Flick is not only a fabulous guy but also a great coach, as he proved by winning the treble for Bayern. He came to the national team in a very difficult situation, but he was always genuine and I respect him a lot,” he said.

Lamine Yamal

Lamine Yamal
Will Yamal’s meteoric rise continue under Flick? (GETTY Images)

Yamal’s meteoric rise this season has seen him establish himself as Barcelona’s primary right-winger. The teenage sensation’s ability to take men on, create, and combine with players appears to be a staple of his game.

However, there is certainly scope for improvement and it could be argued that Yamal is being underutilized out wide. With Flick playing a crucial role in the development of young talents like Jamal Musiala, Lamine Yamal could similarly benefit.

For one, the Spanish international could grow more in central channels and get closer to the goal, where he is most effective.

Musiala’s elite close control and dribbling in tight spaces draw parallels with Yamal, and thus a shift to the centre may yield a beneficial outcome.

Flick morphed Musiala into a player who was the heartbeat of his Bayern Munich team by giving him the free reign to drop deep, progress play, and create space for his teammates.

At the age of 16, the sky is the limit for Yamal, and guidance by Flick could help him similarly soar to new heights.

Gavi

Pablo Gavi
A player tailor-made for Flick’s system? (GETTY Images)

Flick’s fondness for taking over the Barcelona team may be explained by the fact that there are profiles tailor-made for his needs. Among all names, though, Gavi arguably stands out as the prototype Flick player.

The youngster has spent a large portion of the season injured, but little has to be said about his unique traits in the midfield.

With a knack for winning the ball back by all means necessary and covering large distances, the treble-winning coach’s vertical style of play would be complemented by Gavi’s ability to conceal cracks off the ball.

Moreover, the youngster’s strengths on the ball would be equally important. Gavi’s long passing range has been gradually improving, while his composure in tight areas continues to set him apart.

Gavi would fit in like a glove in Flick’s high-pressing style with his work ethic and persistence. He could develop even further in terms of his defensive contributions, considering how much Flick’s system hinges on counter-pressing and covering grass.

Trending Articles