No surprise to hear that Barcelona have appointed Luis Enrique as their new first-team coach. The former Barca player, who managed the club’s B team between 2008 and 2011, quit as Celta Vigo manager last week. He has signed a two-year deal and replaces Gerardo Martino, who left after Barca finished second to Atletico Madrid in La Liga.
After going “outside the family” to hire Martino, Barca went back to what made them successful by hiring a former player, who the club hope can be as successful as Pep Guardiola was, the only other man to be the club’s captain, B team coach and first-team manager.
The appointment comes on the same day as the signing of Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, who replaces the out-of-contract Victor Valdes. Barça also confirmed that Gerard Deulofeu and Rafinha Alcántara, who spent last season out on loan at Everton and Celta respectively, will return to form part of the first team squad.
This was a disappointing season for Barca as the squad needs to get younger. Despite signing Stegen, Barca still need a quality back-up goalkeeper as José Manuel Pinto has been released. Carles Puyol has retired and center back is a need that Barcelona have not addressed for several years now. In midfield, Iniesta and Xavi are getting older while Cesc Fabregas has being offered to both Arsenal and Manchester United as he wants a return to the Premier league. Up-front, Enrique has to find a way to motivate Lionel Messi, and also tactically come up with a plan that involves both Messi and Neymar.