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Three long-term replacements for Andrés Iniesta at Barcelona

Sunday 2nd July 2017
At the gracious age of 33, Andrés Iniesta's Barcelona career is on the steady decline and the higher-ups at the club recognise this. That's why they've recruited Andre Gomes and Ivan Rakitić in successive seasons to compensate for his downfall -   but to little or no avail. Now they're scouring  high & low across Europe for a suitable replacement before his impending retirement.

Here are 3 players who could replace Andrés Iniesta at FC Barcelona.  

Phillipe Coutinho

The Brazilian playmaker has been linked with a move to nearly every top club in Europe this season. But his links with Barcelona seem to have more than just speculation driving them, it looks as if the Catalonian club have identified him as the future of the club. And it's not hard to see why.

Over the past few seasons, the 25-year old has shown us flashes of brilliance in the PL that have taken our breath away. However, a constant criticism of him is that he doesn't sustain such form over the course of 38 games.

Although last season the Brazilian did his best to quell such allegations by scoring 14 times and providing 7 assists. When you compare that to Iniesta's 0 goals 3 assists last season, there's a strong case for the 25-year old to become the rightful successor to the Spanish legend. Coutinho's silky touches, exquisite ball control and eye for a pass would help him seamlessly fit in at the Nou Camp.

Marco Verratti

Not only did the little Italian audition for the role last season, he smashed the audition out the park. On the 14th of February 2017, Paris Saint-Germain sent shockwaves around the world when they massacred Barcelona 4-0. In that match, the standout performer was none other than Marco Verratti.

The Italian bossed his future midfield with ease, threading balls through the lines as if Messi & co. weren't there. He was the link that perfected PSG's counter-attacking play and in the final third he created chances that didn't even look possible.

However, we all know how the 2nd leg turned out and much like the rest of PSG's season, it was a shambles. They failed to win the Ligue 1 title and a player of Marco Verratti's standing deserves better than to be surrounded by underperforming stars. The 24-year old has the potential to be everything Iniesta has been to Barcelona, and much much more.

Thiago Alcántara

How Barcelona let one of the best young talents in football go to Bayern Munich for a measly £22m in 2013 will always be a shock to me. Yes, the Spaniard had injury problems but he's a player worth holding on to and not to be shipped out for a quarter of his worth.

For those who don't know, Thiago is a player that best describes a midfielder, as he can play in any role in the middle. He's got the discipline and tactical nous to adjust to any role in any phase of the pitch.

The 26-year-old is already a La Masia graduate so the fabrics of the club are already welded inmindsetind-set. He knows how to play the beautiful game, he's Spanish and understands the values of Barcelona too, so surely he's the natural heir to Iniesta's throne?
Mathaeus Abuwa

Arsenal fan with ample amounts of passion for both Cristiano Ronaldo & Real Madrid. I'm one of those bandwagonist hipster fans that will claim to know everything about football, but only watches the El Clasico outside of the Premier League. Forgive me, I'm trying. Oh yeah, #WengerOut. 


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