Barcelona have been looking somewhat short of depth in midfield of late and some are wondering if they were too hasty to see two of their options out of the door during the summer.
Following injuries to Franck Kessie and Frenkie de Jong, although both now recovered, Xavi Hernandez had few options to switch things up in the middle of the park for three or four games.
In the summer, both Nico Gonzalez and Miralem Pjanic left the club. The former did so in search of more minutes. The latter has now explained to beIN that he did the same, despite Xavi’s wishes for him to stay. Pjanic ended up joining Sharjah FC in the United Arab Emirates on a free. Mundo Deportivo carried his words.
“Xavi wanted me to stay, it was I who decided to go. I was there for the first games and the manager talked to me a lot but I wanted to play more.”
Pjanic also explained that his relationship with previous Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman was not always tense.
“At the start I got on very well with Koeman, he said he was very happy that I came to the club. But then it didn’t go as hoped. With Koeman I played occasionally but I expected to play more, I was ready for it, but I never got into the eleven.”
In recent weeks the Bosnian has publicly criticised the Dutchman, claiming that it was the worst preparation he had experienced and there was no tactical work whatsoever. Pjanic ended up spending his second season as a Barcelona player on loan at Besiktas due to the breakdown in their relationship.