Barcelona closing in on superstar duo with De Jong already signed: How can they line up next season?

Football Club Barcelona are looking to bolster their squad for next season after suffering another Remontada in Europe, this time at the hands of Liverpool.

After two consecutive humiliations in Europe under their manager Ernesto Valverde, Barcelona seem to be readying themselves to respond to their recent embarrassment off the pitch in the upcoming transfer window. With the signing of Frenkie de Jong in midfield already confirmed, the club’s president Josep Maria Bartomeu looks forward to strengthening two other key areas on the pitch – Defence and Attack.

One of the main concerns for the Blaugrana is their ageing squad with the likes of Luis Suarez, Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic and Gerard Pique all above 30. Although the defender has had a stellar season, these concerns have called upon the club to take drastic measures in order to keep the transition ‘smooth’ for the future.

The two names that have come to light are Ajax’s ‘Matthijs De Ligt‘ and Atletico Madrid’sĀ ‘Antoine Griezmann’, with the latterĀ having announced his departure from the club at the end of the season.

The Catalan giants generally line up in a 4-3-3 formation under Valverde which can be changed to a 4-4-2 depending upon the personnel and the situation on the pitch. But the question arises how the new signings will adjust to the system which has brought back to back La Liga titles to the Camp Nou.

Formation 1

football formations

An ageing Suarez is the biggest concern for Barcelona in the final third and getting Griezmann on the left side of the attack can certainly provide some stability and support to the Uruguayan. Looking at the understanding Messi and Suarez have developed over the years, it won’t be wise to relegate Suarez to the bench once the Frenchman arrives. De Jong can fill in the midfield for Rakitic who could end up at a new club come August.

De Ligt can easily slot in alongside Clement Lenglet and can share game time with Pique throughout the season. That front-3 can give any defence a run for their money but with three out and out attackers up front, there might be added pressure on the midfield and defence.

Formation 2

football formations

Griezmann can become a like for like replacement for Suarez at the Camp Nou but playing as a lone striker from the start will be somewhat of a new challenge for the Frenchman. Meanwhile, De Jong can slot in the defensive midfield role for Busquets and De Ligt can play alongside Pique which isn’t favourable but the quality these two right-footed centre-backs possess will surely make up for it.

Formation 3

football formations

Rather than keeping Griezmann as a lone striker, Messi who generally drops deep to orchestrate the play can play as a false nine between the two Frenchmen, maximising Dembele’s potential on the right and Griezmann’s on the left. De Jong can fill the void left by the departure of Andres Iniesta back in 2018 and De Ligt can form a resolute partnership with Samuel Umtiti in defence.

This certainly looks the most explosive of the three options with Messi playing so close to the goal, Griezmann on the left can play as second fiddle to the Argentine and we can finally get to see Dembele on the right which is by far his best position on the pitch.

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