Not long ago, the whole Barça fanbase was unequivocally asking for Busquets to be sold or at least benched. It seemed like whenever we played badly, Busquets was one of the players who get most of the blame and it seemed rightly so.
But in 2021, with a new system having 3 defenders to cover at the back, Busquets again became a vital component of the team and an undisputed starter. To understand what changed we need to look at the players who are playing alongside Busquets. Pedri is a generational talent, his game might still be raw but his understanding of the game is far more matured and it is one of the reasons he is starting ahead of the likes of Puig and Pjanić. He opens up passing lanes with his runs and tracks back when there is a threat of counter-attack, which gives Busquets the support that he was missing.
Puig is better going forward with the ball as compared to Pedri but this creates structural instability in Barça midfield and puts extra strain on Busquets which makes us prone to counter-attacks. This seems to be one of the major reasons why Pedri is preferred in starting lineup.
Given the recent performances of our team, one can easily ignore the contribution made by Busquets but Barça fans should not. He will go down as the most underrated midfielders of all time despite winning everything there is to be won.
“You watch the game, you don’t see Busquets. You watch Busquets, you see the whole game.” — Vicente del Bosque
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