It’s not every day that you hear that your superstar has a say in selection matters, but reports claim that is what is happening at Barcelona.
The feared trident of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar was broken up this past summer after Neymar’s move to Paris Saint-Germain, but in came Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund.
Unfortunately for Barcelona, the 20-year-old sustained a serious hamstring injury just weeks into the campaign, and they’ll have to make do without him for the next few months.
According to Diario Gol, Ernesto Valverde wants to make a change to the way in which he sets his team up, and that involves Suarez becoming less of a prominent figure and Messi being played through the middle as a false nine.
As coach of the squad, we’d be forgiven for thinking that Valverde has the final say in these matters and his players simply fall in line and do the job asked of them.
However, it seemingly works a little differently at the Nou Camp, as the report goes on to suggest that Messi doesn’t want to see the Uruguayan international benched, and that in turn has made the Barcelona coach think twice about upsetting his talisman and he could instead persevere with Suarez.
Whether that means sticking with the same tactical system, or slightly tweaking it so he gets Messi in the dangerous positions that he wants him in remains to be seen. Either way, despite the fact that Suarez has scored just two goals in eight games so far this season after being so prolific in previous years, it doesn’t look as though he’ll be dropped from the line-up any time soon now Messi has had his say.