Once announced by Koeman that the system that his new Barça would apply would be 4-2-3-1, and given the bad reputation with which Sergio Busquets ended the season, passed over in Lisbon by Thiago and Goretzka, it was fact that the two starting pivots of Barça this season would be Frenkie de Jong, the coach’s right eye, and Miralem Pjanic, Barça’s old dream and market opportunity in the exchange operation for Arthur. However, Busquets has held fast to the starting position at Barça. At least in LaLiga. So much so that the Bosnian Pjanic has not yet started in the domestic competition in a situation that, apparently in some of his reactions on social networks, has not convinced him. “I’m at the best club in the world, but I’m not satisfied,” he recently said on Canal Plus France.
The fact is that with the Pjanic-De Jong couple, Barça has good numbers. With both in the field, the partial is 7-1 (in goals) favorable. And with them two, Barça played the best game of the season in Turin. There, Pjanic was huge, a player who gives new things to the team because he mixes the game more in short and long. He has hit from outside the area and he always tries; and the ball takes less time to reach according to which areas compared to Busquets-De Jong’s style, with a much shorter game. Of course, the Bosnian is somewhat less reliable in the percentage of passing because he risks more and he has had some dangerous losses that have penalized the team. Against Ferencvaros, his concentration error gave rise to the action of the penalty and the expulsion of Piqué. Against Juventus, a horizontal ball with a lot of risk also put the team in trouble with 0-0. But Barça’s football with the Bosnian is being more versatile.
At Wanda, De Jong and Pjanic are going to have a tough test. First, on a physical level. The two come from playing practically everything with Holland and Bosnia respectively. And then, they will have to deal with a team that bites like Atlético and that has Koke in a state of grace. Of course, the profile of the red and white midfield will be different due to the absences of Herrera and Torreira. The loss of Busquets forces Koeman, at last, to give the alternative, to this midfield who appeared in all LaLiga guides as a starter but who has added only a few moments in the domestic competition.