Miralem Pjanic left Barcelona this summer a year after joining in a controversial exchange from Juventus that saw Arthur go the other way. The Bosnian, like many others before him, ultimately suffered due to the freakish consistency of Sergio Busquets, who’s called the midfield pivot position his own since he came into the team in place of Yaya Toure in 2008, note Marca.
Toure left Barcelona soon after for Manchester City, and the Ivorian has since admitted that Busquets’ presence was the key obstacle preventing his prominence in the first team. Javier Mascherano was next, with the Argentine eventually being converted to a centre-back due to Busquets’ importance. Alex Song was another who failed to compete with the Catalan, as were La Masia products Sergi Samper and Oriol Busquets.
Frenkie de Jong, who arrived at Barcelona from Ajax in the summer of 2019, was perhaps the most promising candidate, but he’s changed his position to be able to play beside Busquets and Pedri. Busquets, who’s begun his 14th season in the first-team at Camp Nou, looks set to be a fixture until the day he retires.