Can Ruben Neves solve FC Barcelona holes in defence, and enhance Xavi-ball?

Barcelona is BACK!! You heard that right. Barcelona is back to the Transfer Market. FC Barcelona is one of the greatest clubs in the history of Football. Barcelona boasts a massive fan base in and out of Europe. The recent few seasons have been a downhill struggle for Catalans. They have tried everything in the book but found success to no avail. This led the Catalans to sack Koeman and bring in perhaps the best man for the role, Xavi. Xavi’s return back to Camp Nou, this time on the other side of the touchline, has turned things for the better. The El Maestro has reinvigorated discipline and team spirit in an unmotivated bunch. 

Image Credits: marca.com

While Xavi’s methods bore a pathway to success, the lack of quality in the line-up coupled with a string of unwanted injuries made life miserable at Camp Nou. This was visible in a match against Eintracht Frankfurt. The Catalan giants faced a hostile atmosphere in their home. Unlike other matches, where visitors are in minor numbers, Frankfurt fans vandalised half of the Camp Nou. This surprised Catalans, and Frankfurt played it to their advantage, banging in surprise goals. Catalans recovered but were too late. 

While Barcelona’s defence still needs a bit of work, their defensive midfield could do with some reinforcement as well. Sergio Busquets has been running hot and cold this season. He performs well in some matches but fails to live up to important ones. With age being a negative factor, Barcelona believes they need to find a replacement for their captain. 

Image Credits: skysports.com

Ruben Neves is one name which appears on Xavi’s shortlist. The Portuguese midfielder has been a revelation to Wolves ever since he arrived there. 

The 25-year-old Industrious midfielder is one of the finest midfielders in the Premier League at the moment. He has displayed his ability to hold the ball well, even though Wolves mostly stays on defence. Neves has been the pivot in the Wolves midfield, just the way Busquets is in Barcelona’s midfield. He provides the defensive cover to the centre-backs while also helping out the midfield.

Neves is an excellent passer who is effective at all ranges. He is a skilled long-ball player while also an intricate short-passer. He can get accustomed to Tiki-Taka while also packing the ability to send high-balls for a last-ditch counter. This ability makes him a perfect pivot for Xavi’s Barcelona.

Xavi isn’t a strict follower of Guardiola’s Tiki-Taka. He is more impressed by Cruyff’s style. Xavi likes to keep the possession but doesn’t like wasting time on the ball. He likes to take the attack to the opponents. Xavi believes the emphasis of possession is to stitch a chance to attack, not just pass around. Xavi also prefers short passes but isn’t fickle enough to eradicate long ones. On the other hand, he believes long passes should be saved for critical moments. While the idea looks similar, Xavi-ball is an entirely different game against Tiki-Taka.

Ruben Neves flexibility on both ends, passing sense and superb ball control can give Xavi-ball a new lease of life. Wolves would be reluctant to leave their best man. Barcelona will have to turn in bucks if they want Neves in the line-up. He may cost around 50-60 million, but Barcelona has the money to spend. Will this transfer let Xavi further improvise his style, or the tag set by Wolves is too high for Barcelona’s taste? Stay Tuned with The Sportsway for more updates.

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