Analysis: Is Marcelo Brozovic a better fit for Barcelona than Franck Kessie?

Franck Kessie’s future at Barcelona is up in the air, with the midfielder having struggled for game time under head coach Xavi Hernandez since his move from AC Milan last summer.

Kessie was touted as a big coup for Barca when he joined at the start of this season, but his move has been very underwhelming thus far. He has struggled with injuries, and has been only a fringe player when he has been fit. The likes of Sergio Busquets, Gavi, Pedri and Frenkie De Jong are all ahead of the Ivorian in the pecking order.

With his lack of game time at Barca, there have been numerous reports that clubs across Europe are interested in signing Kessie, just six months into his time in Catalonia. With Barcelona’s precarious financial situation, fringe players with high sell-on value are likely to be first choice when it comes to sales.

Inter Milan are one of the clubs keen on Kessie, with the Serie A side having been interested for the past couple of months. However, Kessie was reportedly open to staying at Barca, which would scuffer any move in January.

It appears that a move could still happen, despite Kessie’s wishes. Recent reports have emerged that Barcelona are contemplating a swap deal, which would see Kessie move to Inter and Marcelo Brozovic would head to the Camp Nou. SkySport, via MD, have confirmed on Sunday that this is a deal that Inter would be open to.

On the face of it, the deal doesn’t make too much sense. Brozovic is 30, with Kessie being four years younger. In terms of the future, it is one that is very questionable. However, when considering the short term needs of the team, it does make sense.

Brozovic would bring a wealth of experience to the team, and with a young duo in Gavi and Pedri alongside him, the Croatian would be a great mentor, especially if Sergio Busquets were to leave at the end of the season.

There is a strong argument that Brozovic suits Barca’s style of play more. At Milan last season, Kessie typically operated in a double pivot role alongside Sandro Tonali, as Stefano Pioli used a 4-2-3-1. With Barca’s standard 4-3-3, Kessie is playing a role that he is possible unsuited to. Brozovic played as the pivot in Croatia’s 4-3-3 at the World Cup, and with great success as the nation finished third at the tournament.

It’s likely that Brozovic is being lined up as a short term replacement for Busquets, with the two seen as very similar players. From a Barcelona perspective, Kessie doesn’t look to suit Xavi’s system, and there is an opportunity to bring in a player who will.

Much could depend on the terms of the swap, which Barca will be wary of with their financial situation. If a deal can be done that suits them, it’s likely that Brozovic will come in and Kessie will leave.

Tags Barcelona Franck Kessie Inter Milan Marcelo Brozovic Xavi
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