At the start of pre-season training, Nico Gonzalez was very much confirmed to stay at FC Barcelona for the 2022/23 season. However, as per AS, Xavi Hernandez is now sure that a loan move away from the club would be the best thing for the 20-year-old midfielder.
Nico had a meteoric rise to the first team in the 2021/22 season as he and fellow Barça B midfielder, Gavi were pushed into senior football after an injury-laden start to the season for the Catalan giants.
Gavi took the opportunity by the scruff of its neck, and while Nico did impress, he failed to hit the same level that his fellow La Masia graduate.
At the start of the pre-season, there were multiple reports stating that Xavi looked at Nico as a possible backup for the ageing Sergio Busquets, and maybe even a replacement as he rated the youngster very highly.
However, one block for Nico has been the redemption of veteran midfielder, Miralem Pjanic. The Bosnian was on the other end of the spectrum compared to Nico, as he looked very certain to leave the Catalans as he had a mediocre loan spell at Besiktas last season.
The 32-year-old had very much failed to live up to his name during his first season at Barça and was subsequently sent out on loan the next season. He continued to underperform in Turkey and was expected to be sold off this summer.
However, Pjanic is said to have really impressed the coaching staff during pre-season, including Xavi who really liked what the player had to show in regards to his technicality and tactical ability.
Therefore, Xavi now believes the Pjanic would be the better backup for Busquets and a loan move would suit Nico as it would help him get more minutes in the first team and develop before he returns to the club next season.
Nico, himself, would likely welcome such a move as he does not stand a great chance of playing regularly at Camp Nou this season. That would only get harder if Barcelona sign Bernardo Silva from Man City. So, a loan spell away could be the best move for everyone involved.