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Five players who will be fixed starters for Barcelona next season

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Photo by ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images

Hansi Flick arrived in Barcelona and met sporting director Deco earlier today to plan the squad for next season and outline his ideas for the coming campaign.

With several of the team’s mainstays currently on duty with their respective national team setups and the Euros and the Copa America set to begin shortly, the German tactician will not get long to transmit his ideas to the dressing room before the new season starts.

At this point, however, one would expect Flick to have a decent idea of the personnel he places his trust in as undisputed starting options.

Here is a list of five names the new manager will likely trust with his eyes closed come August.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen

Ter Stegen will continue as Barça’s No. 1. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

Despite having questions raised around his quality often, Marc-Andre ter Stegen has been the first name on the Barcelona team sheet for years now.

The German shot-stopper, in fact, was very close to winning his second straight Zamora Trophy last season despite going under the blade and was exceptional for the team after his return from injury.

In 28 league starts for Barcelona, Ter Stegen oversaw a stunning 15 clean sheets and averaged 2.7 saves per game. Furthermore, he even recorded two clean sheets in the Champions League.

There were questions over the goalkeeper’s future and speculations over a move to Saudi Arabia. However, it is safe to say that the German will be a regular starter for Barcelona next season especially given the club’s inability to bring in a replacement.

The arrival of Hansi Flick is only a further supporting pillar to the captain’s continuity.

Pedri

Barcelona’s midfield gem will hope to leave injury problems behind. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

Pedri’s quality has never been under question. The youngster has always exuded quality that can decide games in a matter of touches but injuries have been his bottleneck to success.

Flick’s arrival and strict training regimen is expected to alleviate several members of the squad from their long history of injuries, one of whom is Pedri.

If truly back to his fit and raring best, the young Canary Islander will become one of, if not Barcelona’s single-most important player on the field. He has shown in recent games with Spain that he is close to his best and next season could well be his time to shine.

Alejandro Balde

Will Flick turn Balde into Barcelona’s Alphonso Davies? (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

When news of Flick’s arrival first sounded in Barcelona, there was tangible excitement over the development prospects of one player – Alejandro Balde.

Ruled out for a significant part of the last season through injury, the left-back will be eager to win back his place on the field under the new manager in pre-season. Needless to say, he could not have asked for a better mentor than Flick.

The former Bayern Munich manager developed Alphonso Davies into the monster that he is at left-back during his stint in the Bundesliga and Balde is not far off from being a similar profile.

In a system where full-backs are given the freedom to venture into attack and shoulder more responsibility, it is safe to say that the La Masia starlet will be one of the manager’s most adored players come August.

Robert Lewandowski

Can Lewandowski recover his best form under Flick? (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

As word has it, Xavi’s refusal to accommodate Robert Lewandowski in his plans was one of the major reasons behind Joan Laporta’s decision to fire him.

Hansi Flick’s experience working with the Polish striker and experience in bringing the best out of him, similarly, was one of the factors that pioneered his appointment.

At 35 years of age, Lewandowski is indeed far from the fox in the box that he was when he won the sextuple with Flick. The 4-2-3-1 setup will play to his strengths and reduce the burden of participating in the buildup, thus enabling him to focus on the goal-scoring.

The veteran completed the 2023-24 campaign in La Liga with 19 goals in 35 games despite his struggles early on in the season. He is currently injured, but his recovery will be one Flick follows closely as the Polish star will be a bonafide starter in his setup.

Lamine Yamal

The future Golden Boy. (Photo by JORGE GUERRERO/AFP via Getty Images)

The last player on the list is perhaps Barcelona’s biggest positive and most instrumental difference-maker on the field from the season gone by, all at the age of 16 years.

Barcelona’s 2023-24 season may not be remembered in the history books as one of the club’s greatest campaigns in terms of results. It will, however, be remembered as the year Lamine Yamal made himself a household name and earned a starting spot in the first team.

Come next season, Flick will certainly utilise the youngster as a guaranteed starter down the right flank as there are few players better than the teenager in his position at the moment.

The only concern will be Yamal’s age and the need to regulate minutes to avoid physical setbacks.

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