Lionel Messi’s Camp Nou days are looking to finally be nearing an end and the talks of who steps up to take the Argentine’s mantle are rife.
Amidst all this, Martin Braithwaite has made a bold claim that he wants to inherit the hallowed No. 10 jersey worn by Messi, should the latter depart.
And while the entire Barcelona management is trying all it can to keep the Messiah in his shrine, the fact remains that the chances of Messi ever again donning Blaugrana no. 10 are slim.
Too bold a wish, too tall a claim
Martin Braithwaite who arrived from Leganes earlier this year has expressed his desire to wear Lionel Messi No. 10 jersey, given Messi’s numbered days at Camp Nou.
The Dane, who currently wears No.19, only arrived from Leganes earlier this year and has a contract with the Catalans until 2024.
Martin Braithwaite asked management to wear number 10 shirt when Messi leaves but management told him that he would leave before Messi. pic.twitter.com/sNKIvcBNcR
— TrenditGh (@TrenditGh) August 28, 2020
While with Leganes, Braithwaite had the No.25 shirt and more recently the No.7 jersey, and during his time at Middlesbrough he wore the No.10.
And while the ex Leganes man arrived only as a potential replacement for injured Dembele, the new Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman seems pretty impressed with his work ethic and efforts and is looking to give Braithwaite a bigger role at the club.
And yet, the entire episode does seem too tall of a claim from Braithwaite who hasn’t really been among world football’s elites whether earlier or at Barca where he has managed a solitary goal in 11 appearances.
Lionel Messi and the fate of number 10-
Barcelona is in talks with Manchester City for a potential move and should the inevitable happen, there are a plethora of options as to who dons Barcelona no. 10 in the post-Messi era.
The strongest claim obviously lies with Phillipe Coutinho should he return, having donned no. 10 at Liverpool and Bayern. Antoine Griezman who currently wears no. 17 is also a potential replacement given that he will be Barca’s biggest player in the post-Messi, Suarez era.
The Catalans are also in talks with the likes of Lautaro Martinez and should the Inter Milan star come to Camp Nou, he too would be an ideal candidate for inheriting that number 10 jersey.
There are also (unlikely) talks of the likes of Dybala and Neymar coming to Barcelona and should either of the two do complete a move, they would automatically be inheritors of Messi’s jersey.
All of this assuming that Catalans don’t retire the no. 10 as a form of tribute for their greatest ever player. And while this option does seem unlikely at the moment given the strained relationship that Messiah and his abode share these days, it would make a lot more sense than giving it to someone who is not ready to take the mantle.
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