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Five players that should still be starters for FC Barcelona next season at all costs

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Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)

It is widely known that Barcelona face a busy summer ahead with player incomings and outgoings. Their financial woes make this period particularly crucial, with only a few players currently deemed untouchable.

The Barcelona management is sketching out their plan for the upcoming transfer window. They recognize the pressing need to bolster their midfield, aiming for at least a couple of new signings. 

However, they are equally aware of the necessity to generate funds. Nonetheless, any major transfer hinges on the players’ stance.

With the 2023/24 season winding down, Xavi and his coaching team are tasked with evaluating the squad for the next campaign. Time is of the essence as they ponder which players are indispensable for the starting lineup.

As we are on the subject, let’s look at five players, who should start for Barcelona at all costs next season.

Lamine Yamal

Lamine Yamal is a guaranteed starter for Barcelona next season. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Right now, Lamine Yamal sits as the team’s sixth-highest goal-scorer, tallying seven goals across all competitions. 

He trails behind Lewandowski with 24 goals, Ferran Torres with 11, Joao Felix and Raphinha with 10 each, and Fermin Lopez with eight. 

In the league, he holds the fifth spot with five goals, lagging behind Lewandowski, Ferran,  Felix, and Raphinha, tying with Fermin and Gundogan with.

It might seem implausible for a youngster not yet 17 to have played 48 games with the first team. 

Yet, circumstances dictate otherwise. With Lamine Yamal, the journey has been fast-tracked, unlike Lionel Messi’s. 

Despite debuting in the 2004-05 season, Messi didn’t reach the 47-game mark that Lamine has now until the 2008-09 season. This not only portrays the talent he possesses but also shows the trust Xavi has in his young forward.

Pau Cubarsi

Pau Cubarsi has been excellent for Barcelonat this season. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

At just 17, Pau Cubarsi has already demonstrated his exceptional skills as a top-notch centre-back. 

With upcoming games, Xavi has a prime chance to limit Cubarsi’s exposure, preserving the young talent as he braces for the international commitment with Spain. 

Despite his youth, Cubarsi has seamlessly integrated into the defensive setup, forming a formidable partnership with Inigo Martinez. Looking ahead, if Ronald Araujo remains, Cubarsi is poised to join forces with him next season.

Cubarsi’s performance suggests a seasoned Barca defender, blending effortlessly with Martinez and potentially Araujo. It would require a bold decision from any manager to bench him next season. 

Possessing a graceful touch on the ball yet reflecting a determined aura, early likening to Gerard Pique holds merit. Barcelona’s extension of Cubarsi’s contract till 2027 reflects the management’s keenness to nurture his talent in the senior squad for the upcoming season.

Gavi

Gavi should start for Barcelona next season. (Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images)

Simply put, Gavi is the core of today’s Barcelona team, and it is crystal clear what he adds to the starting lineup. 

With him there, Barcelona are much stronger, and recent months have shown how easily opponents can break through without him.

While Jude Bellingham got praise for his winning performance in El Clasico, Gavi was clearly the standout player earlier this season. 

It goes without saying that Barcelona rely on his confidence and determination in midfield, which allows the more talented players to shine. Barcelona must keep him at all costs, as having him return next season will be as beneficial as signing a new player.

Ilkay Gundogan

Ilkay Gundogan’s presence has been very crucial for Barcelona this season. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Some players possess a unique flair, almost like they carry enchantment within their cleats. Ilkay Gundogan epitomizes this distinction. 

When he graces the field, it is similar to witnessing magic unfurling before our eyes. With just a few moves, he elevates the entire match, infusing it with excitement and anticipation. 

Throughout this season, Gundogan has crafted an impressive 91 opportunities for scoring while contributing to a remarkable 18 goals.

Yet, his significance transcends mere statistics, especially in the context of Barcelona’s ongoing evolution. 

His wealth of experience enriches the team, particularly amidst its rebuilding phase. Imagining his potential in a fully matured squad underscores his invaluable impact.

Scoring 18 goals marks a pinnacle in Gundogan’s professional journey, with the possibility of further achievements before the season’s end. 

Despite the team’s struggles, he has ensured a steady flow of creativity, securing his spot for the upcoming season. In essence, Gundogan embodies the essence of footballing brilliance, enriching every match with his unparalleled prowess.

Fermin Lopez

Fermin Loperz’s performances have gone under the radar this season. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

When preseason began, many viewed Fermin as a player returning from a successful year at Linares in the Primera RFEF division but still lacking the readiness for the first team. 

However, as time passed, Fermin has emerged as a vital part of Xavi’s midfield. Throughout the season, he not only displayed his determination but also justified it with his dedication and on-field contributions, including scoring goals. 

Notably, his goal against Valencia marked his eighth goal in competitive matches this season – five in LaLiga, two in the Champions League, and one in the Copa del Rey.

For what it is worth, Fermin remains Barcelona’s silent guardian, who does not always grab the attention but manages to do his job every time he is on the field.

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