Messi signs but Barcelona still have plenty of work to do


Barcelona’s biggest deal of the summer has been done, the club have confirmed that Lionel Messi will sign a new deal that will keep him at the club until 2021.

Great news of course, but this should be just the start for Barcelona, with the team in need of a reboot if Messi is going to add to his tally of eight league titles and four Champions League trophies, in the next four years.

As utterly brilliant as Messi is, he simply cannot do it on his own, and as last season proved, the little genius needs, and surely deserves, more help from the club.

Real Madrid may have only won the title by three points, but the club have now won three of the last four Champions League titles and unless Barca act, the gap will only grow.

Signings are needed, particularly at right-back where Hector Bellerin and Nelson Semedo have been mooted, although neither signing looks particularly easy to pull off.

So too into midfield, where Barcelona are still searching for a replacement for Xavi. The club are reportedly keen on a big-money summer move for Marco Verratti, but there’s no guarantee he will come.

There’s also the question of Andres Iniesta, surely Barcelona will now look to renew the midfielder, having tied down Messi?


Talking of Iniesta, there’s also the small matter of Dani Ceballos, the Spain Under-21 midfielder, who could potentially replace the midfielder at some point, that’s if he doesn’t chose Madrid over Barca.

Whatever you think of Ceballos, there’s no denying he’s a hugely promising young talent, available at a very good price, and having already seen Marco Asensio and Isco head to Madrid, losing another promising talent would be another blow.

That’s not forgetting the club’s finances, with Barca seemingly having had to wait until July to announce Messi’s deal. If they do manage to land Verratti for mega-bucks, can they afford to spend big on any other players?

And what of the players already at Barcelona? Can Ernesto Valverde put together a team that is capable of beating Madrid to the title? Does Andre Gomes deserve another chance? What about Arda Turan, Denis Suarez, Rafinha, Lucas Digne?

Messi’s renewal is great news, but it needs to be just the start of a busy summer at Camp Nou.