Barcelona announced today that Xavi Hernandez has been appointed as the new manager of the club. Ronald Koeman was sacked a little more than a week ago after the team got off to a poor start to the season. There are a lot of expectations on Xavi as he takes charge of his former club.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top stories involving Barcelona from 8 November 2021.
Andres Iniesta says Xavi is a perfect fit for Barcelona
Barcelona unveiled Xavi Hernandez as the team’s new head coach on Monday. The former midfielder had been managing Qatari club Al Sadd for two years before the call from Barcelona came. His former teammate for both club and country, Andres Iniesta, has weighed in on Xavi’s appointment as Barcelona manager.
Iniesta told BeIN Sports (via Sport) that he believes Xavi is a perfect fit for the Catalans.
“He’s ready – he’s been preparing and he’s capable. He’s a perfect fit, that’s for sure. Not just because of what he may know about La Masia or the club, but because he’s ready for it. It’s important, not just because of what he represents as player but as a coach. He is ready to face this challenge.
“I wish him all the luck in the world and I am convinced that he will be fine because he has prepared for this moment and is very excited to be able to take on this challenge. I hope that the circumstances arise for him to be successful. I wish him the best.”
Manchester City want Frenkie De Jong in exchange for Raheem Sterling
New Barcelona manager Xavi loves wide attacking players. They are essential to his system and the 41-year-old has reportedly identified Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling as a potential signing.
According to Spanish publication El Nacional, Manchester City are willing to sit at the negotiating table to discuss a deal for Raheem Sterling. However, Pep Guardiola wants Barcelona midfielder Frenkie De Jong in exchange for the Englishman.
Frenkie De Jong has been nowhere near his best this season. Raheem Sterling has struggled at Manchester City as well and is struggling for game time following the arrival of Jack Grealish from Aston Villa this summer.
If both clubs do eventually end up agreeing to a swap deal in January or next summer, Manchester City will surely need to cough up some additional money. This is because De Jong is valued more than Sterling.
Xavi wants to sign Al Sadd striker Baghdad Bounedjah
With Sergio Aguero ruled out for three months and loan signing Luuk De Jong performing poorly, Barcelona’s striking department is in desperate need of a facelift. According to Goal, new Barcelona manager Xavi wants to bring Al Sadd striker Baghdad Bounedjah to the Camp Nou.
That would be quite an audacious thing to do. Bounedjah was a standout performer for Al Sadd as they won the league title last term, scoring 27 goals and providing nine assists across all competitions.
The Algerian international has been in great form this term as well and has scored 11 goals in nine league games so far. Algeria national football team coach Djamel Belmadi reacted to the rumour by praising his striker. He told TSA Algerie:
“Baghdad is doing extraordinary things. Baghdad in Barcelona, what do you want me to tell you? Xavi knows better than I… maybe he thinks Baghdad is the first or second choice.
“It can be a surprise for others and not for him since he knows him. He knows how to compare with the squad there is at the moment in Barcelona. God only knows, that would be an extraordinary thing.
“He made history, he scored goals everywhere…He scored the goal of the Afcon final, one of the most important goals in the history of Algerian football. We do not recognise his quality precisely because he plays in Qatar, whereas, in Qatar, there are players who cannot do it.”