La Liga is entering a new phase with Xavi’s Barcelona transitioning after the departure of significant legends.
Barcelona has welcomed Manchester City’s former captain Ilkay Gundogan, strengthening their midfield after saying farewell to iconic figures Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba. The absence of attempts to rehire Lionel Messi, who moved to Miami, further emphasizes the club’s new direction.
The team will be playing home games at the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona as Nou Camp undergoes refurbishment, all while contending with ongoing financial troubles.
The acquisition of Gundogan, as well as Oriol Romeu, has provided both offensive and defensive benefits. Romeu’s return marks a shift in coach Xavi’s tactics, where defensive agility seems to trump traditional finesse.
Romeu’s faster pace compensates for the loss of subtle passing skills, a strategy that aligns with Xavi’s approach to making Barcelona tougher to play against, albeit at the expense of entertainment value. This adjustment could be essential in defending their title, allowing a more versatile playstyle that varies from last season’s often dull 1-0 victories.
The anticipated transfer of Ousmane Dembele to Paris St-Germain adds a complex dimension, removing creativity but perhaps increasing flexibility, allowing talents like Raphinha, Ferran Torres, and Ansu Fati to step up.
Barcelona’s financial struggles still cast a shadow, threatening to sideline key players at the season’s start.
In Madrid, Real’s coach Carlo Ancelotti faces mounting pressure after a lackluster end to the last season and a troubled pre-season, not to mention being pursued for Brazil’s national team manager role.
Ancelotti’s immediate challenge is finding a replacement for Karim Benzema’s attacking prowess. The acquisition of England’s Jude Bellingham has solidified the midfield, but Real’s attack remains a concern, particularly with an unconvincing shift of Vinicius Jr into a central position.
Fran Garcia’s arrival may provide a solution at left-back, but Real’s overall challenges place them at risk of being overshadowed by local rivals Atletico Madrid.
Atletico ended last season impressively, with Antoine Griezmann’s exceptional performance playing a significant part. The potential departure of Joao Felix and Alvaro Morata might offer Memphis Depay an opportunity to prove his leadership capabilities in a title-chasing team.
Other contenders include Real Sociedad, who face an uphill battle after David Silva’s retirement and the added pressure of Champions League commitments. Despite having talents like Umar Sadiq, a serious title challenge from La Real or any other outsider seems unlikely, with the usual trio of Barca, Real, and Atletico remaining the dominant forces.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about La Liga
Who has Barcelona signed to strengthen their midfield after losing key players?
Barcelona signed Ilkay Gundogan on a free transfer from Manchester City and brought back Oriol Romeu, formerly with Southampton and originally from Barça’s youth system, to enhance their midfield.
What changes are happening at Barcelona’s home ground?
Barcelona will be playing their home games at the city’s Olympic Stadium during the Nou Camp’s refurbishment.
Who is Real Madrid’s major summer signing to bolster their midfield?
Real Madrid signed England midfielder Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund on a six-year deal for £88.5m.
What are the concerns about Real Madrid’s attack for the new season?
The concerns involve the possible non-arrival of Kylian Mbappe and the current reliance on Joselu as the main striker. Ancelotti’s repositioning of Vinicius Jr also looked unconvincing.
Who is emerging as a key player for Atletico Madrid?
Antoine Griezmann has emerged as a key player for Atletico Madrid, finishing last season with La Liga’s best goals plus assists tally.
What financial problems are Barcelona currently facing?
Barcelona’s ongoing financial difficulties have hindered them from registering new signings or existing players who have signed new contracts, possibly sidelining key players at the beginning of the season.