Barcelona cracked the latest deal with Juventus which includes Arthur Melo in a swap deal with Miralem Pjanic and cash of £10 Milion. Though this Pjanic to Barcelona deal was mainly completed to maintain the stability in the balance sheet and there were very few tactical brains behind this deal. But as the deal is done so Setien needs to find a way to include Pjanic. Today we will see how can Pjanic fit at his new club.
Miralem Pjanic’s style of play
Miralem Pjanic is a perfect creative midfielder. He mainly plays beside the CDM in a 4-2-3-1 and as one of the two central mids in a 4-3-3 system. His defensive work rate is very minimal. He is very light weighted and can be easily out strengthed by stronger players. He can’t absorb press and can be displaced easily. His main USP is his vision and passing capability. He can find his teammates easily. He can read the game very well and dictate the team’s attack. Though he is not a great ball carrier he can progress the play by playing short and long passes. He is not a pacy player and likes to play in a slow tempo, which is similar to Barca’s style.
Pjanic to Barcelona: How can the Bosnian fit in Setien’s squad?
Pjanic’s perfect position is no 10. He doesn’t contribute much defensively and likes to play upfront. He can easily pick lanes with his passing ability. Sarri tried him as a regista but that position doesn’t unleash the full potential of Pjanic.
Now in case of Barca, the Spanish giants use various formations and they can tweek it a little to fit this Bosnian playmaker.
Setien‘s preferred formation is 4-3-3. He uses Busquets as a ball playing CDM along with a no.10 and no.8. Pjanic can play in this number 10 position beside Vidal. He can support Messi in the Zone 14 and feed balls to Griezmann, Fati and Suarez. He can also play 1-2 with other forwards to open up spaces in the opponent defence. This is the primary option for Barcelona.
Barca can also line up in a 4-3-1-2 or 4-4-2 diamond shape as they have used in some games after lockdown. Here the mid 3 will consist of Pjanic, Vidal and Busquets supported by Messi or Puig as no.10. Pjanic has a high chance to show his best game in this formation. Though he will play as a central mid in this system, he will not have to worry about defensive duties as Vidal and Busquets can easily cover the space. He can also use his long balls to initiate an attack. As in this system, he will control the tempo his slow pace will not be an issue and he will be guarded by Busquets and Vidal so he will face a minimum amount of press.
The only concern is that without the ball he will need to press the opposition defenders. His slow pace can result in a lot of space there. But considering all, this is the best formation to use Pjanic. If Barca wants to increase midfield creativity they can easily use Frankie De Jong instead of Vidal. This can hurt the defensive shape of Barca but they can strengthen their control on mid.
Barca can also use 4-2-3-1 formation. Here Pjanic can play as a DLP beside Busquets. Though the work will be more or less the same as previous formation. But here he will be facing more press from opponent no.10 which can be an issue. But his short and long passes can make him successful as a DLP in 4-2-3-1. But Setien tried 4-2-3-1 very rarely and it will need at least 4-5 matches to get accustomed.
Though Barca transfer board was bashed heavily by their fans after this deal. Initially, it was almost impossible to find the planning behind a swap between a 30-year Pjanic with 23-year Arthur Melo. But after analysis, it is clear that there are some silver linings behind this saga. Though the age will still matter, if Pjanic can unleash his full potential under Setien then Pjanic to Barcelona deal can be very effective for the next 2-3 years.
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