• Analysis

How will Barcelona lineup without Ousmane Dembele in 2023-24?

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Barca will have to play without one of their best wingers next season.

Ousmane Dembele is set to leave Barcelona in the upcoming days as Paris Saint-Germain have reportedly reached an agreement to activate his €50m release clause.

The upcoming transfer has left Barca fans wondering how will the team’s attacking line shape up without the Frenchman next season.

Let’s explore two lineup options that Xavi can employ after Dembele’s departure.

More playing time for Fati?

Raphinha could replace Dembele on one flank, with Ansu Fati on the other. Xavi can opt for a three-man midfield comprising Gundogan, De Jong, and Pedri.

This 4-3-3- formation has been successful for Barcelona in the past and has helped them secure victories. The team already boasts the best defence in Spain, but Inigo Martinez can step in if Christensen’s fitness remains a concern.

Possible lineup (first option): Ter Stegen; Balde, Martinez, Araujo, Kounde; Gundogan, De Jong, Pedri; Fati, Lewandowski, Raphinha

Four midfielders

If Xavi decides to change his regular 4-3-3 formation, he will most likely try to take advantage of Barca’s impressive squad depth in midfield.

Barcelona could line up with four midfielders, with either Raphinha or Abde taking the right-wing position. Xavi has showcased his ability to secure memorable victories using a four-man midfield, most recently seen in the El Clasico match in pre-season. Gavi can occupy the left side of midfield alongside De Jong, Gundogan, and Pedri.

Possible lineup (second option): Ter Stegen; Balde, Christensen, Araujo, Kounde; Frenkie, Gundogan, Pedri, Gavi, Abde/Raphinha; Lewandowski.