Barcelona spoiled for choice in midfield
As many as nine players are set to compete for three positions in Barcelona's midfield for the upcoming season.
The arrival of Frenkie de Jong increases the number of the midfielders at Ernesto Valverde's disposal and the former Athletic Club coach faces the pleasant headache of having to pick between several talented players.
MARCA presents you each of the nine men who will challenge for a spot in the starting line-up.
He is coming into the new season on the back of his worst ever season at Barcelona, but he is one of the few players who know the team's style inside out and he is considered as an undisputed starter.
No Barcelona player participated in more games than Ivan Rakitic last season, after Croatia's run all the way to the World Cup final. Valverde counts him, but his name was brought up amongst those who may depart this summer.
He was the great revelation of the 2018/19 campaign, receiving lots of praise and being compared to Xavi Hernandez, as he has already shown that he deserves a spot in the starting eleven.
He ended last season as a starter, but although his not a player of Barcelona's style, he seems to have Valverde's confidence.
Frenkie de Jong
The Dutchman is a long-term project for the Catalan side, but he may be introduced to the starting line-up as soon as the upcoming season begins. Several teams were interested in his acquisition, but the Blaugrana convinced him to move to Catalonia after offering Ajax a multi-million-euro deal.
Probably the player who is most affected by an overcrowded midfield. He has no desire to depart Barcelona as he is eager to compete for a spot in the first eleven.
Although he is the type of player that Valverde likes, he may depart the Camp Nou this summer in search of playing time, following a long-term injury that saw him miss most of last season.
He is considered as a candidate for the left-wing position, as his performances in midfield last season were disappointing. Coutinho is one of the players who could be included in a deal to bring back Neymar from Paris-Saint Germain.
In theory he will spend more time at right-back than in the midfield. Last season he played as a midfielder several times, but this year he is not expected to enjoy much playing time in this position.