One of the more surreal moments of the 2021-22 season was to ‘Busquets to the bench’ trending on Twitter during the season. While the hashtag was a particularly bizarre way of manifesting it, it does touch on a debate with clearly drawn lines in Can Barca.
Some believe that Sergio Busquets, now 33, is incapable of performing at the highest level and is a hindrance when Barcelona come up against the best teams in Europe. Others feel that Busquets is not the problem, rather the issue is systematic and placed in the right team, Busquets continues to be one of the best at what he does.
One way or another, a succession plan cannot be too far down the line, with his contract up at the end of the 2024 season. One of the names that has been touted as an option to occupy Busquets’ position is Ruben Neves. The 25-year-old Portuguese was highly-rated as a youngster and now stands out for Wolves in midfield. He’s also a client of Jorge Mendes and supposedly was brought up during a dinner with Barcelona’s Sporting Director during the week.
According to Mundo Deportivo however, Neves is not an option for Barcelona this summer. Xavi Hernandez has faith in Busquets to perform the starting role again this season and counts on Franck Kessie and Sergi Roberto to fill in his absence. There are plenty of positions to strengthen at Barcelona and with limited funds, it makes sense to prioritise other areas.