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Miralem Pjanic is the perfect replacement for Andres Iniesta at Barcelona

Tuesday 31st July 2018

It would be foolish not to include Barcelona as one of the world's best teams at present. The Spanish giants not only possess Lionel Messi, a player considered among the all-time greats, they also have a strong team, filled with quality in both defence and attack.   

However, Barca have a giant void in the middle after Andres Iniesta's departure. The talented playmaker left Camp Nou to play in Japan. There are no clear signs of how, or even if, the Catalans plan to replace him. Granted, it's not easy to find a successor with his traits.   

There are a few talents who could fill Barcelona's midfield void. One stands out more than all others. The best move is to strike a deal for Juventus' Miralem Pjanic.

Although the Bosnia international doesn't share a similar playing style to Iniesta, if Barca want a competent, reliable central midfielder, one performing in his prime, he seems the best fit.   

First, Pjanic is a definite upgrade on the current in-house options. Barcelona need a creative-minded player alongside Sergio Busquets. While Philippe Coutinho can operate in that role, he is better suited to a more attacking stance.

Pjanic tops Ivan Rakitic, who has a balanced approach, concentrated on passing and ball retention. The Juventus playmaker is also an upgrade on recent signing Arthur, a midfielder in the mould of Xavi Hernandez, not Iniesta. Andre Gomes, meanwhile, doesn't look to have a future at Camp Nou. 

Should Pjanic join Barcelona this summer, he possesses all the attributes required to make a huge impact. At 28, he has the experience to contribute right away. La Liga champions would be more likely to win titles with him in the side. Their three summer signings up to now - Clement Lenglet, Arthur and Malcom - are all long-term projects. Neither is likely to be a regular starter.  

Pjanic possesses an accurate first touch, great control, spectacular vision and top-notch passing ability. He fits the playmaker role in the first line of midfield yet can also perform in a more attacking position if needed. The Bosnian is effective at both ends. He thrives going forward, showcasing his best when creating space for teammates. 

Although there won't be another talent like Iniesta in a long time, Pjanic shares certain traits with the 2010 World Cup hero. He no doubt has the ability to fill the void. 

Securing Pjanic's signature won't be easy. Manchester City is reportedly interested. In fact, Pep Guardiola called him personally to express interest. Barcelona may hold the upper hand, though, as they have been tracking the former Roma star for a longer period.    

Juventus are prepared to let Pjanic go. They want at least £100 million. It seems a lot for a central midfielder, but it's fair in the current market. 

Barcelona should take advantage of their chance to sign Pjanic this summer. Not only is he the perfect replacement for Iniesta and complement for Busquets, he is tailor-made to shine with the Catalans.  

Football Fixtures
Juan Pablo Aravena

29-year-old sports analyst and journalist with over three years of experience in the industry. Writes about all kinds of sports from football to golf, but there is no question his biggest passion in life is football. Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and Colo Colo fan.


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