Barcelona have just drawn breath after a hectic transfer window in which they revamped their forward line and central defence. However they are already preparing for a key absence.
Multiple reports have emerged that Barcelona captain Sergio Busquets has decided this season will be his last at Camp Nou. He will look to bring his 15 year reign in Barcelona’s midfield to an end, leaving at the of his contract in 2023.
It means the Blaugrana are on the hunt for a replacement. Although they have Nico Gonzalez on loan at Valencia and Frenkie de Jong in reserve, neither have convinced as an alternative to Busquets so far.
Although a lot can change in nine months, there appears to be a consensus on Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi as that replacement. Both Sport and Mundo Deportivo are reporting it as such.
The 23-year-old has been identified as a strong option in place of Busquets. His consistently rising trajectory, his leadership skills and the national set-up also see him as the successor to Busquets.
As a footballer, Zubimendi is composed on the ball, strong in the challenge and provides balance to La Real. His performances have been noteworthy this season and increasingly he has drawn comparisons with Xabi Alonso.
His contract expires in 2025 and he has a €60m release clause, but Barcelona are prepared to make a significant investment.