Koeman names star to fill Messi void?

LaLiga

FC Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has seemingly revealed which star he believes can fill the void left after Lionel Messi's shock departure from the club. 

Messi is reportedly set to join Paris Saint-Germain later this week after a bizarre turn of events resulted in the Catalan giants being unable to re-sign the six-time Ballon d'Or winner, who had initially agreed a deal to stay on at the Camp Nou. 

Read: Pogba to stay at Utd because of Messi?

Koeman has had a difficult year with the Blaugrana, with the 34-year-old having asked to leave one month into his tenure back in September 2020, but former Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu refused to let him leave.

A year later, the forward has now officially left the club, and the Dutch manager will be the first Barca coach in 17 years to not have the club's record goalscorer available for selection. 

Defender Gerard Pique has admitted that the atmosphere in the dressing is "broken" after the Argentine's exit, but Koeman seemingly sees the situation as a chance for other players to step up and fill the void left by Messi, hinting that Antoine Griezmann may be the ideal man. 

"Despite the farewell to Leo Messi, we are very excited about this new season, with the squad we have, the signings we have made and also young people have come up, which is always the future of this great club," the Dutchman said, according to the Metro.  

"We are convinced that we will give you many joys this season. With a lot of help, a lot of sacrifice and a very good job, we will achieve the maximum. We know what it is to be from Barca and what this club represents. 

"It is important to have the best, but we don't change our ideas or the way we play either. Griezmann has played in his [Messi's] position and he has done well." 

Scroll through the gallery below to see Barca's new away kit

 

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