New Barcelona signing Miralem Pjanic only arrived at the club on Thursday but has already decided which squad number he will take at the Camp Nou.
The No. 8 shirt has been worn by some famous names over the years including Bulgarian striker Hristo Stoichkov and club legend Andres Iniesta who departed for Japanese side Vissel Kobe in 2018.
Pjanic wore the No. 5 during his four years with Turin giants Juventus but has worn the No. 8 previously at French club Lyon.
The 30-year-old’s arrival at Barcelona was delayed after he tested positive for Covid-19, but he is now ready to start work with the Catalan giants and trained with his new club for the first time on Saturday.
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All Change at Barcelona?
Pjanic is not the only Barcelona player who will be wearing a new shirt number in the 2020-21 campaign. Antoine Griezmann has already confirmed he will be switching from the No. 17 to his preferred No. 7.
The World Cup winner takes over from Philippe Coutinho who agreed to the switch. It’s not clear yet what number the Brazilian will take, but he wore the No. 14 shirt in Saturday’s friendly win over Nastic.
Coutinho also wore the No. 14 when he first arrived at Barcelona from Liverpool in January 2018. The forward made a bright start to his Camp Nou career, scoring 10 goals in 22 appearances in his first half-season, but struggled for form in the next campaign and spent last season on loan at Bayern Munich.
More Players to Depart?
There may be more numbers up for grabs at Barcelona too. Ivan Rakitic’s No. 4 is currently free following the Croatia international’s decision to leave the Camp Nou and return to Sevilla.
Meanwhile, Arturo Vidal and Luis Suarez continue to be linked with Barcelona exits. Both players were left out of Ronald Koeman’s 25-man squad for Saturday’s friendly against Nastic, suggesting they are not in his future plans.
Suarez has been heavily linked with a move to Serie A champions Juventus, while Vidal could also head to Italy. The Chile international is expected to be reunited with former boss Antoine Conte at Inter and could have a medical next week.