EUROPEAN FOOTBALL

Sergio Busquets could he be on his way to Stamford Bridge

Barcelona

Sergio Busquets, a former Chelsea target, will depart Barcelona when his contract expires at the end of the season. After 18 years with the La Liga giants, the great Spaniard is poised to go in search of a new challenge. Busquets is known for redefining the deep-lying midfield position by focusing on football intelligence, precision passing, and an ‘genius’ ability to read the game rather than overwhelming strength or physicality.

Sergio Busquets has a couple of options in front of him

The World Cup, European Championship, and Champions League winner will be available for free transfer this summer. According to reports, a large sum of money has been offered from Saudi Arabia. Former teammate Lionel Messi was in the Gulf state last week as speculation over a summer move intensified. If Busquets joins him, he will receive an enormous salary that cannot be matched anywhere else.

However, if he wishes to continue playing at the greatest level, Chelsea may be an option. The Blues cannot compete in Europe, but they should regroup under a new manager next season. With N’Golo Kante’s contract still uncertain, a spot on the team could become available. The Frenchman, like Busquets, is a World Cup winner and may depart for free in June. There have been rumours that the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino will persuade Kante to stay, but supporters are still waiting for an official declaration.

Chelsea might choose Barca legend over Kante

Busquets and Kante play in the same position, yet their playing styles are quite different. Kante is a high-intensity, all-action workhorse who can tackle, break up play, and get up and down the pitch. The statistics show this as well. While Busquets has an excellent 88 percent pass completion, his counterpart lags behind with 80.2 percent. However, Kante has substantially better tackles won per game, with 1.72 percent trumping Busquets’ 1.13. In terms of blocks per game (1.9), the Frenchman outperforms the Barcelona player (1.21). Signing Busquets would represent a shift in Chelsea’s philosophy.

Another area to consider is Financial Fair Play, with Todd Boehly’s excessive spending since buying the club drawing scrutiny. UEFA’s attention will most likely be drawn to Stamford Bridge in the coming years, especially with Chelsea’s exit from the Champions League. Any free moves that improve the squad would be welcomed as the Blues management seeks to better their financial situation this summer.

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