The exit of Sergio Busquets at the end of this season as a free agent forces FC Barcelona to look for a new pure midfielder in the next transfer market in order to replace him. However, this is not an easy task, as that is a key position and demands too much. Many players joined in from the academy with the mission to be the ‘heirs’ of Busquets, but non of them have pulled it off. Zubimendi was pointed out as the natural relief, and now Sofyan Amrabat has joined the list of candidates.
The technical staff has already put some names on Xavi’s table after a search in the market, and he already has his preference: Martín Zubimendi, from Real Sociedad. However, he wants more additions towards this summer and, knowing the fact that Zubimendi would only leave in exchange for 60 million euros, he would also be OK with Amrabat, who already made it clear that he wanted to play for Barça when he offered himself to play for free back in January.
One more physical and the other one more technical, but both Amrabat and Zubimendi are players that fit in great to Xavi’s approach. Zubimendi is a more similar feature to Busquets: shorter, but with similar qualities with the ball.
On the other hand, Amrabat, even though he might seem more clumsy with the ball due to his strength and his linking to defend, he is also a very talented player. In fact, regarding to the passing accuracy, he has an 89.7% success versus Zubimendi’s 84.9%.
However, putting the sporting perspective away for a second, Martín Zubimendi is a way more unlikely option. Even though he has said himself that Sergio Busquets is his idol and that he would one day love to share looker room with Leo Messi, he also assured that he is not thinking about leaving Real Sociedad for now. Furthermore, the club demands his full 60 million release clause in order to sign him, and they are not willing to negotiate.
On the other hand, Amrabat is an easier option. He was already close to sign for Barça back in January, as he both offered himself to play for free and to give his salary to Fiorentina in exchange for his transfer.
In the end that did not make further progress because Barça were still very limited with their salary mass, but that certainly proves the interest from the player. And if that was not enough, his transferring price would be around 25 million euros, a very accesible fee for Barça.
Whatever option they choose, Barça must decided between these two players, unless a better market option comes up. The defensive midfielder is key for Barça’s system and they must forget about other experiments like Rúben Neves, whose agent Mendes is obsessed with taking him to the Camp Nou Stadium or Frenkie de Jong, who is not a pure ‘5’.
Translated by Guillermo Bermejo.
Main image: Edit Marta Calle.