Ousmane Dembélé, Philippe Coutinho and Antoine Griezmann all now call Camp Nou home while Malcom was briefly a Barcelona player. Despite such spending, the club clearly aren’t satisfied with their current options.
Ansu Fati is being tipped for big things at Barcelona but, for now, at least, he’s a 17-year-old with a lot of promise but there’s no guarantee he will fulfil that potential.
So how do Barça plan to replace Messi? Using Football Manager 2020, we’ve taken a look at what the LaLiga champions do over the next five seasons. If the screenshot below is anything to go off, they’ll be busy in the transfer market.
Deployed in the attacking midfield position is the next Eden Hazard, Yari Verschaeren. Currently an Anderlecht player, the fleet-footed attacker is the poster boy for the next crop of Belgian stars. To his right, Kylian Mbappé. The World Cup winner moved for £190million and eventually replaced Messi in the starting XI. To Verschaeren’s left, Griezmann remains.
Spearheading the attack is versatile midfielder Kai Havertz. He cost over £90million too, and operates as a false-nine in this Barça side. The Germany international and the young Belgian act as facilitators. The pair create space for the wide players and this is how the LaLiga side play in a post-Messi world.