FC Barcelona Are In A ‘Mess’ With Their Numbers: Nobody Wants Messi’s 10, Who Should Take It?
The big news coming out of Catalonia yesterday was that Ronald Koeman wants to see misfit club record signing Philippe Coutinho given another year in the first team to prove his worth.
Furthermore, he has reportedly been offered the iconic number 10 jersey now that former teammate Lionel Messi has moved on to PSG.
Aware of the extra responsibility and pressure such an assignment comes with, however, the soft-spoken Brazilian is said to be “thinking about it”.
On his debut outing on Twitch, Gerard Pique broached this subject with popular Spanish streamer Ibai Llanos.
“Nobody wears 10, right? No balls [to do it],” asked Llanos .
“Well, I think someone will have to put it on. I told Kun [Aguero] to put it on. But Kun doesn't see it clearly.”
Given that Aguero is one of Messi’s best friends in football, with their relationship spanning some 20 years since their days in Argentina’s youth categories, the ex-Manchester City striker who only joined the Blagurana on a free contract as he believed it would finally afford them a chance to play together at club level is a sound suggestion.
Via Instagram on Wednesday, however, he officially announced he will use 19 meaning the search continues.
The Camp Nou crowd already cheering his name on Sunday against Real Sociedad, Mundo Deportivo have made a case for 18-year-old sensation Pedri to inherit the number.
“What you have to do is look to the future,” the newspaper wrote yesterday.
“And in that future, a player who deserves the honor of wearing the 10 would perfectly be Pedri. [Give it to] him, then,” they demanded.
With a good 10-15 years ahead of him in the elite, should he finally learn to take a rest between seasons, the clearly-talented Tenerife native or fellow youth pearl Ansu Fati provide the most logical choices as opposed to older heads like Coutinho and Aguero who may only be around a season or two more at the most.
On Thursday morning, As describe Barca’s numbers situation as a “mess” and like so many things at the club, resolution of the problem relies on player sales.
While only 10 and 25 are available, Coutinho and Oscar Mingueza could take the 8 and 23 numbers currently owned by Miralem Pjanic and Samuel Umtiti.
Yet their potential exits to the likes of Juventus and Monaco are complicated and far from guaranteed.
Lastly, Aguero isn’t even registered to play in La Liga yet, so his 19 is far from secured.
In a merry-go-round ahead of 2021/2022, Ansu Fati has moved from 22 to 17 considering the departure of Francisco Trincao to Wolves, as Emerson Royal now uses the former.
Memphis Depay taking his 9, Martin Braithwaite adopts the 12 vacated by Riqui Puig, who is a 6 with barely any playing time snubbed in favor of new preseason discoveries Nico Gonzalez and Gavi.