Xavi has De Jong option as a replacement for Busquets

Xavi has De Jong option as a replacement for Busquets

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The coach may turn to the Dutchman who was in theory signed as Busi's relief

Since signing for Barça, Frenkie de Jong has seen Sergio Busquets' name accompany any debate about his performance. Even before he was in the Blaugrana shirt, the story about the Dutchman seemed to be decided. He was coming to take over from Busquets. 

The process had to be gradual, although some were already predicting a dazzling switch-up. The generational change was already underway: Barça signed the best midfielder in Europe and ensured continuity of their model. The fact that De Jong was Ajax's big breakthrough talent helped gain consensus of the Barça supporters and the environment. The club was making the best possible signing and the team had secured the replacement of one of the cornerstones of Guardiola's Barça.  

These were the forecasts but the reality was soon to disprove some preconceived ideas. The first was that De Jong would immediately take over Busquets' role. The second was that Frenkie's adaptation would be immediate. The Dutchman has been slow to find his place in Barça's positional play game and has managed to do so - especially this season - alongside Busquets with the four midfielders formula, instead of replacing him.

A new scenario

The departure of Busquets opens up a new scenario for the Dutchman. It has often been said that as long as Busquets was in the team, this could not be De Jong's Barça. Without him, the Dutchman will have the opportunity to be the first point of reference for Barça's play, while waiting to see how Xavi deals with Busquets' departure.

Everything suggests that the club will look for a replacement for 'Busi', a more positional player so that De Jong remains at the base of the play but with the freedom to drive the ball. 

Everything points to the club reinforcing the position, but even so it seems highly unlikely that any new player will be able to carry the weight of Busquets' play. That is why next season will be a challenge for Frenkie. In just two summers he will have experienced first-hand the contradictions of this club: from being a transferable player he will become the player called upon to lead the midfield.

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