Barcelona's starting XI without Lionel Messi
Barcelona will begin their 2021/22 campaign without the greatest player in the club's history. How will Ronald Koeman manage without Lionel Messi?
Lionel Messi is leaving Barcelona after 17 years. PSG are currently the favourites to sign arguably the greatest player of all time.
As many Barcelona fans slowly deal with the loss of their favourite player, others will be thinking about how Ronald Koeman will aim to fill the massive void that the Argentine will leave.
Thanks for representing our shirt with pride 💙❤️ pic.twitter.com/wGc2g6u2Sw— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 6, 2021
Agüero-Messi plan gone
Reinforcements have been made in the attacking department. Sergio Agüero and Memphis Depay have both joined this summer from Manchester City and Lyon respectively. Agüero signed to play in attack alongside one of his best friends but that dream has now been shattered by the news of Messi's pending departure.
The signings of Agüero and Depay add to the list of forwards available to Koeman. French pair Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembélé have been linked with moves away. Martin Braithwaite could also move on before the end of the summer as the Camp Nou outfit look to earn as much revenue as possible in the current window. Depay and Agüero are also pushing the Danish forward further down the pecking order.
Ter Stegen missed Euro 2020 through injury but is Barcelona's undisputed number one. Sergiño Dest has attracted interest from Bayern Munich but if he stays he will battle it out with Sergi Roberto for the right-back role.
Local boy Eric García has rejoined the club after a spell in Manchester with Pep Guardiola's City. He will add quality to Koeman's defensive options but is still quite young.
Into midfield, Frenkie de Jong and Pedri are guaranteed starters. Sergio Busquets had an excellent Euro 2020 and will more than likely be the one sitting in front of the centre-backs.
Quality in attack
Heading into attack, Barcelona will be without Messi, the top scorer in the history of LaLiga. Agüero is a proven striker, becoming a legend at Manchester City for his prowess in front of goal over a decade. Memphis Depay is younger and sharper and may just get the nod ahead of an injury prone Agüero.
On the wings, Ansu Fati will be back in contention after a spell on the sidelines with a knee injury. The 18-year-old has undergone several surgeries for a recurring knee problem and will be hoping for better luck in 2021/22. Antoine Griezmann prefers to play through the middle, like he does with France, however Depay and Agüero may keep him on the right for the new season. Ousmane Dembélé will also be another option either side of the chosen number nine.
Barcelona's likely XI without Messi
Ter Stegen; Dest, Piqué, Araújo, Alba; Busquets, Pedri, De Jong; Griezmann, Depay, Dembélé.
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