FC Barcelona kickstarts their La Liga season on 27 September; they have many things to prove. After failing at the big stage for years, Barca has its task cut out. But as Barca is vying to assert their dominance again on the big stage, some players have a point to prove.
As Barca spent a considerable amount of money on signings players, almost none of which have worked out. From no place to fit in, to encountering injury problems, these players have a big season ahead of them. This article review 5 players who have a make or break season forth of them and explores what should be expected ahead of the season.
In the summer of 2018, FC Barcelona signed Coutinho from Liverpool after speculations that were going on for more than a year. Since then, Liverpool went on to win the Premier League and even the Champions League. The biggest irony in all this was that Coutinho while joining Barca said he wants to win the Champions League.
In the 2018-19 season, Liverpool knocked out Barca in the semi-final stage of the competition. Coutinho was on the losing side. At the start of 2019 season, Coutinho joined Bayern Munich on a season-long loan deal and went on to win the UCL with Bayern. With all this said, the party which has lost in all this has been FC Barcelona.
As Coutinho returns to FC Barcelona and with Koeman’s confidence, is this the season where he can work his magic alongside Messi? With being the most expensive signing that FC Barcelona ever made, the pressure is enormous. With 8 goals and 6 assists in the Bundesliga for Bayern, Coutinho is running out of time to prove himself at Barca.
Antoine Griezmann joined FC Barcelona in the summer of 2019 from Atletico Madrid and let say he hasn’t performed at the level what was expected from him. Its never easy for a player to adapt to new coaches midseason, but it was never the reason for Griezmann’s performances.
Griezmann hasn’t given top performances as he used to do in Atletico and hasn’t worked in the Barca system. Griezmann is not a No 9, but he can play as a false 9 or a No 10. While in Barca, Messi holds the No 10 role and Griezmann didn’t fit in the system. With Suarez playing regularly, Griezmann didn’t get his chance to combine with Messi.
As Suarez has left FC Barcelona, this might be the season Griezmann has the most number of chances for Barca. As it is very evident, Koeman will deploy a 4-2-3-1 formation with a front four consisting of Messi, Griezmann, Coutinho and a natural winger.
This can help Barca always to have players who can transit to different positions in between the matches. As in the Gamper Trophy, Griezmann and Messi were constantly switching positions in between a false 9 and a No 10.
As Koeman pitches for a change, Griezmann will play a significant role in it. FC Barcelona can’t sign a No 9 as the economic condition is dreadful and Griezmann doesn’t have that much competition. This should motivate Griezmann to give his best and prove why he was bought for over 100 million euros.