5 Barcelona Players with a Point to Prove in the 2014/15 Liga Season
The summer has drawn to a close, and the new season is ready to get underway. For Barcelona, there are several new faces and players looking to cement their place in the Catalan squad.
That being said, there are several players, both new and old, who have a point to prove this season. Whether it is lofty expectations or needing to bounce back, there is pressure to step up for a few Blaugrana stars.
In this article, we will take a look at five Barcelona players who have a point to prove this season, while also discussing just how much of an impact they will have on the team.
As always, feel free to get involved in the discussion in the comments section below, and tell us who you think has the biggest point to prove at the Camp Nou!
Marc-Andre ter Stegen
With Victor Valdes having left the Catalan giants, Barcelona moved quickly to sign German keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, followed by Chile star Claudio Bravo. With two high-profile keepers in the squad, both will have a lot of pressure to perform.
However, Ter Stegen will have the most to prove this season and will be looking to show why he belongs at the Camp Nou.
At 22 years of age, Ter Stegen has yet to reach his peak, though he is still developing as a player. It is no secret that he is the heir apparent to Valdes, though Bravo stands in his way at the moment.
This season, the German has to prove that he is the present and the future. If he fails to compete with Bravo, his future at the club will begin to be questioned. Simply put, Ter Stegen has to earn his place now and show the fans why the club wasted little time bringing him to Barcelona.
Just a few years ago, Gerard Pique was considered one of the very best centre-backs around. That definitely isn’t the case now after the La Masia graduate has struggled to stay in good form over the past couple of seasons.
New signings Jeremy Mathieu and Thomas Vermaelen are already knocking at the door, and youngster Marc Bartra is always fighting for a place in the squad. If Pique continues his downward descent, he could very well see his spot in the line-up given to someone else.
This will be a massive year for the 27-year-old. Pique has to prove that he is still the face of the Barcelona defense and that his problems are a thing of the past. Time is quickly running out for the Catalan defender; he has to prove he still has it, or his chances could run out soon.
Javier Mascherano was by far one of the best performers at this summer’s World Cup. The defensive-minded player helped Argentina fight their way to the final and was seen as the undisputed leader of La Albiceleste.
At Barcelona, Mascherano does not hold such an important role. Though he is a clearly a leader on the pitch, he is not one of the big faces at the Camp Nou.
Furthermore, Mascherano will likely not be playing centre-back anymore this year due to recent signings, while it also looks impossible for him to overtake Sergio Busquets in the defensive midfielder role. That leaves the Argentina star as a rotational player looking for regular minutes.
It is clear that he is far too good of a player to be playing off of the bench. This year, the 30-year-old has the chance to prove that he deserves a regular place in the starting line-up. He will be given plenty of chances to prove himself, and it is vital that he takes every opportunity he is handed.
Neymar’s high-profile move to Barcelona last summer was seen as a huge step toward finally giving Lionel Messi help upfront. Yet, the Brazilian struggled to find his footing in his debut season, leaving many to believe that he has yet to justify his price tag.
While Neymar continues to struggle in the Barcelona system, his form for Brazil is simply extraordinary. It is time for him to finally put it all together on the domestic level and prove that all of the hype was not a fluke.
Truthfully, Neymar’s struggles at Barcelona are majorly due to the fact that La Blaugrana played a system that restricted the Brazilian’s love of running in open space. This year, that could all change with the addition of Luis Suarez and the slow shift to a more direct style of play.
Now that he has an entire year under his belt, it is time for Neymar to be unleashed. There is no denying the talent that he has, but Luis Enrique has to find the best way to utilize the Brazilian starlet.
The Barcelona trident of Messi, Suarez and Neymar looks unstoppable on paper, but it will only work if all three can find a way to work together, while also playing their individual ways.
Suarez may have more to prove than any other football player on the planet this season. After a third biting incident at the World Cup, the Uruguayan striker now has to do everything in his power to get rid of the negativity hanging over his head.
In his last two seasons at Liverpool, Suarez became the best striker in the game. His ability to score goals in a plethora of ways made him a nightmare for defenders, and yet, the drama still takes centre focus in his career.
After his move to Barcelona, Suarez has the chance to start fresh and put his past behind him. Not only does he have to prove that his talents can translate to a club like Barcelona, he also has to show that he isn’t the person he used to be.
One bad moment and Suarez’s footballing career could take a major hit. Barcelona has put a lot of faith in the striker, but now, he has to prove to the world that everyone is wrong about him.
Suarez enters the new season with pressure on his shoulders that most players will never understand. He has the most to prove of any Barcelona star, and fans certainly hope he does just that.
Which Barcelona players have a point to prove? Will these stars show their best form at the Camp Nou this year? Leave your thoughts and comments below!