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Quique Setien eyes increased role for returning Barcelona loanee next season

It remains to be seen how the ongoing crisis will affect football in the long-term, but it might actually help Barcelona in a strange way.

Over the past few years they’ve moved away from their policy of producing their own youngsters, in favour of throwing big money around in an attempt to sign ready made superstars.

Big money has been spent on Ousmane Dembele, Coutinho and Antoine Griezmann, with none of the trio being particularly impressive.

READ MORE: Barcelona in talks to sign in-form La Liga centre-back

One of the biggest problems has been trying to replace Xavi and Iniesta – it was always going to be tough but the midfield hasn’t been anywhere near as good since they moved on.

For a while it looked like Carles Alena might be a solution, but then he was loaned out to Real Betis.

Things might be changing, as Football Espana reported that Quique Setien has big plans for Alena when he returns from that loan spell next season, and he should have an increased role.

At his best he does remind you of Iniesta – he likes the ball on the half turn, can pick a pass and elegantly drifts his way around the field. Comparisons to the legend may be unhelpful, but if he can get a chance to show what he can do then it might unlock the door for other youngsters too.

Of course this is all dependent on Setien still being there next season, but he must feel he has a good chance of staying on if he’s already planning for the next campaign.

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