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Two ways Barcelona could line up with Adama Traore and Ferran Torres



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Christmas has come late at the Barcelona offices, and especially Xavi, who has been blessed with new additions to the frontline.

The Catalan’s attack has been blunt for a considerable part of the season, especially after unfortunate injuries to Ansu Fati and Martin Braithwaite. Moreover, the unexpected retirement of Sergio Aguero did not help the Blaugranas case either.

Ferran Torres and Adama Traore arrive at Camp Nou as two players who can provide a lot to a team struggling in front of a goal. While Torres brings with him a sense of cohesion and clinical finishing, the Wolves winger can help the club cope with the inevitable departure of Ousmane Dembele.

However, fitting both players into one starting lineup will be difficult for Xavi, given their preference for the same wing. In this article, we explore two starting XIs where the Spanish duo can work together.

1. 4-3-3

Heading into the restart of club football after the hiatus, Xavi has many parts of his puzzle solved. In goal, Marc-Andre ter Stegen is irreplaceable for the side.

The four-man defence would ideally consist of Dani Alves and Jordi Alba at right-back and left-back, respectively, flanking the centre-back pairing of Ronald Araujo and Gerard Pique. Eric Garcia would be the first-choice rotational piece for either of the CBs.

A three-man midfield would be very limiting, considering the club’s goldmine of talented midfielders. However, Sergio Busquets, Gavi, and Pedri seem to be the ideal options in such a scenario, given Frenkie de Jong’s poor form. While Busquets will anchor the midfield, the two teenagers have shown to be more than capable of acting as interiors.

In a 4-3-3 setup, Adama Traore would ideally start on the right-wing, competing with Ez Abde for a spot. His ability to dribble and muscle his way through opposition defences can light up the Catalans’ right-flank.

The left-flank will host the duo of Ferran Torres and Jordi Alba. Moreover, Torres’ ability to cut in could perfectly complement the left-back’s runs beyond the defence.

Luuk de Jong seems set to start as the striker if Xavi decides to opt for a three-man forward system.

The Dutch forward has turned around his situation at Barcelona and will primarily be an ideal partner for Traore, who is known to whip in crosses from the touchline after taking on his marker.

2. 3-5-2

A 3-5-2 could well be Xavi’s plan for the rest of the season, especially given the player profiles at his disposal.

This approach would not see any difference in goal, with ter Stegen donning the gloves. The three centre-backs, in the absence of Eric Garcia, would ideally be Ronald Araujo, Gerard Pique, and Clement Lenglet.

The five-man midfield consists of two wingbacks and three central midfielders. On the right-flank, Adama Traore can be utilized as a potent weapon to bulldoze opposition defences, and start the progression of ball from deeper areas. The Spaniard was used in this position in the 2019/20 season by Nuno Esperito Santo, yielding brilliant results.

Jordi Alba will cover a similar duty on the opposite flank.

Sergio Busquets will continue to anchor the midfield with Frenkie de Jong and Pedri playing in advanced positions. While the latter can provide the perfect blend of press resistance and ball circulation, de Jong will be vital to convert crosses into goals through his tenacious runs into the box.

The two forwards would undoubtedly be Memphis Depay and Ferran Torres. Here, Memphis will be the deeper of the two, acting as a second striker, while Torres plays off the last defender’s shoulder – like Jamie Vardy.

If the duo are able to combine well between the lines — like Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez at Inter Milan — the 3-5-2 system could be an excellent short-term solution, especially with the Europa League looming large.

Further, the presence of de Jong in the box through midfield will definitely help Traore, for Memphis and Torres cannot get on the end of crosses.

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