Barcelona will welcome Manchester City to the Camp Nou later today (August 24) for their highly-anticipated friendly clash, which means the Catalan giants will get to see a number of City’s players in action on their home turf.
Ahead of the game, former Barca assistant manager Domenec Torrent has highlighted two players from Pep Guardiola’s camp who would suit Xavi’s system.
Barcelona have been linked with a number of Manchester City players over the last couple of months, with attacking midfielder Bernardo Silva at the top of the list. In addition to the Portuguese, Domenec Torrent believes Ilkay Gundogan would also be a perfect fit for the Blaugrana.
Torrent told Cadena COPE, (via Manchester Evening News):
“Bernardo Silva has the perfect qualities to play for Barcelona. He can play between lines in a small space. Like Gündoğan, he is, in my opinion, a type of Barça player. These players can see where the space is and have the patience to receive the ball. This is what Xavi in the midfield wants.”
It’s been a massive transfer window for Barcelona this summer. The Catalan giants have made a number of vital signings, including the likes of Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski and Andreas Christensen, spoiling Xavi with options in every area.
Domenec Torrent believes the competition in the squad will be beneficial to the club as it will force all players to sit up tight and fight for places. He added:
“I think Xavi has clear ideas and an action plan with the players he wants. This raises high expectations. Fortunately, he now has a lot of options for making changes, that’s important in a season with lots of matches.”
“This will make sure that no one will relax, because in this team everyone will be able to play in the starting line-up. Competitors see that decisions are not made by chance. They think that they can play three games every week at a high level, but that is impossible.”
How Barcelona and Manchester City have started the new season
City kick-started their Premier League campaign with a 2-0 victory over West Ham United in their opening fixture. They followed it with a 4-0 triumph over Bournemouth in their second game before playing out a 3-3 draw with Newcastle United last weekend (August 21).
Barca, meanwhile, couldn’t beat Rayo Vallecano and were forced to settle for a goalless draw in their La Liga opener. Xavi’s men, however, managed to beat Real Sociedad 4-1 in their last outing. It remains to be seen how both teams will fare as the season progresses.