Franck Kessie was one of the first players to arrive at Barcelona in the summer. The Ivorian joined on a free transfer from AC Milan, but his acquisition was not quite well received by critics, who questioned the player’s lack of technical prowess.
Many argued that Kessie’s style of play is not exactly suited to Barcelona’s gameplay. However, more than a month into the new season, Kessie has started only twice for Barça this season, falling behind the likes of Frenkie de Jong, Pedri and Gavi in the pecking order.
A recent report from Mundo Deportivo, though, suggests Xavi has not counted Kessie out of his setup just yet. In fact, the Barcelona coach considers the Ivorian as an integral part of his project and is seeking to get the best out of the player this season.
Kessie, who was regarded as one of the best midfielders in Serie A, has featured in six matches in all competitions so far. He notably started in the recent win over Elche but was hooked off at half-time due to an early yellow card.
But despite his lack of game-time, Kessie remains content in Barcelona. He respects the coach’s decision and wants to continue to fight for his team in the first team.
In the current scheme of things, Kessie is being considered a more physically robust alternative to the likes of Pedri and Gavi in the interior midfield roles. Although he can also operate as a number six, his route to the first team has been blocked by de Jong and Sergio Busquets.
However, all is not lost for Kessie. With Busquets likely to leave the club in 2023 and de Jong facing an uncertain future at the club, the Ivorian may have a golden opportunity to make himself a first-team regular in the Barcelona setup next season.
Hence, it would be imperative for the midfielder to maintain some form of consistency and remain a reliable first-team option for Xavi throughout the rest of the campaign.