Barcelona have confirmed that Ernesto Valverde will be their new manager, replacing Luis Enrique, a decision that reporter Guillem Balague told Sky Sports was a “safe choice”.
The 53-yer-old Valverde, who is a former Barcelona player has signed a two-year deal, and Balague says that he will add layers to the current side.
Balague told Sky Sports News:
“Valverde is the safe choice for Barcelona. They’ve gone for a manager who can manage what they have, and what they have at the moment is a very powerful front three, a midfield that needs to be recycled if you like, and some players that are reaching 30 or older, and a defence that needs the whole team to work together.
“With that, they asked: who has got experience? Who has won in different places? He can maximise the potential of what he has, but he is not a typical Barcelona coach.
“They have not gone with a coach who can take them to the essence of Barcelona, but more a coach who can make them win.
“Barcelona are going through a transition, this is not a Pep Guardiola team anymore, Luis Enrique has added new things, and I think Valverde will add more new things, new layers to Barcelona.
“If you look at what he’s done as a manager, it’s not your typical Barcelona coach, it’s not all about possession or pressuring high all of the time.
“He sometimes uses two holding midfielders, he sometimes allows the team to defend very deep, so he’s going to have to remember what he learned from Johan Cruyff, apply the lessons of Luis Enrique and also adapt.”
It was a disappointing season for Barcelona, and ESPN FC reporter Richard Martin, says that Barcelona will have to rebuild their midfield this summer if they are to get back amongst the elite in Europe:
Barcelona’s domination of the past decade was based on the supremacy of their midfield, with Xavi Hernandez the puppet master of a side that would utterly dominate opponents in the middle of the pitch, starving them of possession and crafting out chance after chance. Slowly, as Xavi and kindred spirit Andres Iniesta aged, Barca’s midfield has declined, to the point that this season at times the middle of the park barely existed, with too much pressure put on Sergio Busquets to hold it all together.