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Five replacements for Xavi and how they’re getting on

| 15.10.2014

Following Xavi Hernandez’s announcement that he will leave Barcelona, odds-on with Coral at 4/7 to win the Champions League, in the summer, Coral take a look at five potential replacements for the midfield legend.

Ivan Rakitic
One of Enrique’s first signings, the Croatian central midfielder has been compared to compatriot Luka Modric, and certainly has the Real Madrid star’s creative streak. For Sevilla he was responsible for 18 assists and 15 goals in all competitions last term. Perhaps slightly more attacking than Xavi, he is more than capable of sitting deeper, dictating play.

Sergi Roberto
One of the most promising graduates of La Masia, Roberto is very much in the mould of Xavi. Quick and technical, his biggest strength is rapid combination play in the middle of the park, interchanging with teammates at will, as is the Barcelona way.

Ferran Sarsanedas
This 18-year-old has been likened to Roberto, and is intelligent and comfortable on the ball from the left side of a midfield three. His one-touch game is second to none, and is blessed with the vision archetypical of a Barcelona youth product. Perhaps lacking on the physical side slightly, he has plenty of time to develop physiologically over the next few years.

Oriol Busquets
A namesake cross between Oriol Romeu and current Barca star Sergio Busquets, the 16-year-old defensive midfielder is said to be one of the most promising youth stars in their academy. Also capable of playing further forward, there is every chance he could emulate the star who is 19 years his senior.

Wilfrid Kaptoum
The Cameroonian midfielder is reported to be one of the next bright things of La Masia, and is capable of defensive and attacking duties, so could be the perfect candidate to step into Xavi’s shoes. Aged 18, he has a great touch and can see a pass, and was promoted to Barcelona B this summer.



Matt Haynes

A long-suffering Leeds fan, Matt studied Sports Journalism at university, and has a plethora of multi-industry experience. Having worked on behalf of multiple hedge funds and top-tier investment banks in executive search, he has also had a stint with the BBC and the Press Association. Outside of work, he pursues entrepreneurial activities and likes to keep fit.
Although he has interviewed current England manager Roy Hodgson as well as Rafa Benitez and a number of other names, he is honoured to have spent time in the company of Gordon Banks. Matt enjoys cultivating long-lasting professional and personal relationships, is solution orientated, and supports Coral’s sports content provision.