The 2015-16 season was, by their own impeccably high standards, ever-so-slightly disappointing for Barcelona.
The first half of the campaign was extraordinary; Luis Enrique’s side were magnificent and another treble appeared to be a realistic possibility.
But their key players looked increasingly jaded as the season wore on and they had very little in the tank during the final few weeks of the season. The Catalan giants suffered a blip during April and ended up crashing out of the Champions League to Atletico Madrid in the quarter-finals.
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Barcelona still won both La Liga and the Copa del Rey, but the team should have gone further in Europe.
Enrique knew this, hence why he’s bolstered his defence over the past couple of weeks with the acquisitions of Samuel Umtiti and Lucas Digne.
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Barcelona's potential 2016-17 starting XI
So, how will Barcelona’s starting line-up look next season?
If it looks like this, expect Lionel Messi and co. to dominate.
Goalkeeper: Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Claudio Bravo)
Enrique has apparently decided that, for the first time, Marc-Andre ter Stegen will be his first-choice goalkeeper in La Liga next season.
Left-back: Lucas Digne (Jordi Alba)
Lucas Digne is expected to come straight into the team at the expense of Jordi Alba.
Centre-back: Javier Mascherano (Samuel Umtiti)
Luis Enrique may ease Samuel Umtiti in gradually, so expect Javier Mascherano to continue alongside Gerard Pique at the start of the season.
Centre-back: Gerard Pique
Barcelona’s best defender and one of their most important players.
Right-back: Jonas Hector (Sergi Roberto)
Barcelona need a right-back following the departure of Dani Alves and Jonas Hector, who impressed for Germany at Euro 2016, could be the man they sign. If not, expect Sergi Roberto to continue in that position.
Midfield: Sergio Busquets (Sergi Samper)
The talented Sergi Samper will become a member of the first-team squad this season, but Sergio Busquets will, of course, remain the team’s first-choice holding midfielder.
Midfield: Ivan Rakitic
Ivan Rakitic played 57 matches for Barcelona last season and, provided he stays injury-free, will make around the same number of appearances this term.
Midfield: Andres Iniesta (Arda Turan)
Andres Iniesta proved during Euro 2016 that he remains one of the world’s top midfielders. However, the less said about Arda’s European Championships, the better. The Turk might not even be part of the squad come August.
Left-forward: Neymar (Denis Suarez)
Denis Suarez will provide Neymar with some much-needed competition this season.
Right-forward: Lionel Messi
Still the world’s best player, but how will he emerge following such a traumatic summer?
Centre-forward: Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez scored a ridiculous 59 goals last season. Don’t bet against him breaking that tally during the 2016-17 campaign.
Will Barcelona make any new signings before the transfer window closes? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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