7 Reasons that Rafael Marquez is gaining traction as Xavi Hernandez replacement at Barcelona

Barcelona have decided to wait to see if they can persuade Xavi Hernandez to remain in his job beyond the summer, despite the coach’s insistence that he will not continue. The word is that they will not speak to other coaches until they have clarity on Xavi’s continuity, but they must have a back-up plan in place. Barca Atletic coach Rafael Marquez is once again gaining traction as a potential replacement, as was the case before Xavi’s announcement.

Catalan daily Sport have outlined seven reasons that this could end up being the case. Firstly, President Joan Laporta has proven in the past he has little problem appointing coaches without a track record at the top level, including Xavi, Frank Rijkaard and of course Pep Guardiola.

Secondly, Marquez is a client of agent Jorge Mendes, which of late has been counting as a point in favour of players and coaches itself. Sporting Director Deco has operated with a number of Mendes clients previously, and it seems to raise the chances of being considered.

Thirdly, the relationship between Laporta and Marquez has always been close, ever since the Mexican defender signed as a player. When Laporta ran for election in 2020, Marquez voiced his support for Laporta too.

The style of football that Barca Atletic have been playing also works in his favour. Marquez has for the most part been using a 4-3-3 with wide wingers and ambitious football, claims the report.

While Xavi has earned praise for using the young players available to him, so has Marquez. A number of teenage prospects have debuted in senior football with Marquez, and the likes of Hector Fort, Marc Guiu, Pau Cubarsi, Marc Bernal, Noah Darvich, Pau Prim and Dani Rodriguez amongst others have all been given opportunities from their under-19 side.

Their improvement in form is also a major reason. Last season Marquez met his objective by making the play-offs, and having overcome injuries and a reshaped squad, the second half of the season has seen Barca Atletic go an 11-game unbeaten run, and move within one point of Deportivo La Coruna at the top of the table.

Finally, Marquez is a natural leader, and has the respect of those around him without need to justify himself, something important within a top dressing room.

Perhaps the biggest factor that isn’t mentioned within the report is cost. Marquez is on an economic deal, and promoting him would mean avoiding having to register a new coach regarding their salary limit, which is tight as it is.

The post 7 Reasons that Rafael Marquez is gaining traction as Xavi Hernandez replacement at Barcelona appeared first on Football España.

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