Luis Enrique surprised the world last night with his announcement making it clear that he will not remain Barcelona manager after the end of the season and with that decision the Barcelona administration find themselves in a stressful position of searching for the right man worthy enough to follow Enrique’s successful steps and take the club in a progressive direction.
Luis has won many honours during his 3 year stay at the club which include 2 La Liga titles and 1 Uefa Champions League success, not to forget the treble he had in his debut season.
Such a man needs to be replaced by a contender fit enough to dare to become a successor and we at BlameFootball believe among many elite names out there, these 6 are the ones that top the list as ideal replacements:
1. Mauricio Pochettino
Possibly the most perfect man to take the job up at the moment, current Tottenham coach is one of the youngest mastermind tacticians in the world of football and loves to lead teams into playing attacking, creative and eye catching football, similar to that of Barcelona.
Pochettino has taken Tottenham from a side contending for a top 6 finish to a title competing squad in just 2 and a half years incharge at White Hart Lane and despite him claiming to be very happy over there, one would only be foolish to reject an offer coming knocking from one of the best teams in the world.
An added advantage Pochettino provides is having Spanish League management experience with Espanyol back in the day in 2004.
2. Jorge Sampaoli
A Former National coach with Chile, Jorge has been an impressive manager ever since taking over Sevilla in the summer and turning them into title contenders in an otherwise two horse race league in Spain.
Sampaoli is another leader who loves fielding out attacking teams and hence suits his connection with Barcelona. He was second in running to become Chelsea manager behind Antonio Conte and with success in the Copa America in 2015 with Chile after beating Argentina, he has proved he has a winning mentality and might be perfect to take the baton from Enrique.
Current Everton boss is one of the top managers in the Premier League after taking a team with no mega star signings and limited resources and turning them into a top 6 battling club again. Before coming to Merseyside, Koeman was Southampton boss and proved his worth there too by keeping them a regular in an around the top half of the premier league list.
Ronald Koeman is probably tailor fit for the job as he has been a top level Barcelona player in his playing days and being a Dutch he can follow into other successful mangers from that country that the Spanish Club have had namely Louis Van Gaal and Johann Cruyff.
4. Arsene Wenger
Despite all the great young coaches out there with a winning mentality and creative footballing tactics, Barcelona can choose to opt for the safer route and head towards Arsene Wenger, a manager with a more certified way to win trophies, handle big name players, provide steadiness to a club and play creative attacking football.
Wenger may not have been successful in clinching trophies over the years and might be heading for an exit out of Arsenal, the Frenchman may be ideal for the job at Barca with top quality players and huge resources at his disposal.
A man who is mentored the likes of Henry and Fabregas, both who went on and played for Barcelona, knows all about turning players into talents and using them to their fullest potential.
5. Ernesto Valverde
Another notable mention up for the job might be current Athletic Bilbao boss Ernesto Valverde. The manager is at the Spanish club since 2013 and used his tactical abilities to guide Bilbao to Spanish Supercup glory in 2015.
What adds a little weightage in his favour is the fact that he runs out of contract this summer and that could open doors to a promotion at Barcelona once the summer arrives
6. Laurent Blanc
A player for the club in the 90’s, a highly successful coach for PSG winning 11 trophies in 3 years and a Ligue 1 title as Bordeaux manager in 2008-09, Blanc provides attributes that fit the bill well to take over the job at The Catalans.
Besides all of that, he is a former coach of the France National team and is also well respected and known for scouting top talent in world football and maintaining relationships with players, a few he could target bringing to Spain if he bags the job. Probably the biggest advantage he provides is not managing currently and hence being available for immediate talks and analysing the situation without delay and much prior to the other candidates in the list.
Apart from the names of those mentioned above, a few other coaches might be up for the role as Barcelona manager, including Unai Emery, Diego Simeone or probably a return for club favorite Pep Guardiola.