Barcelona coach Xavi has set a new rule that could negatively affect veteran trio Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique, and Jordi Alba, journalist Gabriel Sans has claimed via Mundo Deportivo. According to Sans, Xavi has communicated to his squad that seniority will not play a role when it comes to team selection.
Having failed to win even a single trophy in the 2021-22 campaign, Barca will look to ensure a more successful run in the 2022-23 campaign. They heavily invested in the summer transfer window, bringing in the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Andreas Christensen and Jules Kounde among others. Midfielder Frenkie de Jong, who was linked with a move to Manchester United, has also stayed put, making Xavi spoilt for choices.
At Xavi’s new-look Barcelona, it has been difficult for Pique, Busquets, and Alba to get regular minutes. And according to the aforementioned report, their situation is unlikely to improve. Xavi has reportedly notified everyone that players will not be selected based on seniority. Following the new directive, Busquets, Pique, and Alba could continue to warm the bench for Barcelona.
Xavi has also reportedly adopted a no-nonsense policy when it comes to player roles. Irrespective of how much it bothers him, Kounde would have to continue playing as a right-back if the situation demands it. Similarly, De Jong would have to play in a pivot position if that is deemed as the best option.
Robert Lewandowski has been the standout performer for Barcelona this season
After scoring goals for fun over the last eight seasons at Bayern Munich, Robert Lewandowski joined the Blaugrana earlier this summer for a €45 million fee. Through confident displays, the Pole has quashed lingering doubts over his success in Catalonia.
The former Borussia Dortmund ace has hit the ground running at Camp Nou. He has thus far featured in eight games across competitions for Barca, scoring 11 goals and claiming two assists. Eight of his 11 goals have come in six La Liga appearances, allowing him to emerge as the early front-runner for this season’s Pichichi Trophy (given to the top goalscorer).
If he continues firing on all cylinders, it will not be surprising to see him clinch the prestigious accolade in his debut season itself.