Barcelona Confirm New No. 9 After Luis Suarez’s Exit

Luis Suarez

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Barcelona confirmed their new squad numbers for the 2020-21 season on Tuesday following the close of the summer transfer window.

There are some interesting changes too. Upfront there is a big change as Martin Braithwaite has been handed the iconic No. 9 shirt following Luis Suarez’s departure to Atletico Madrid.

Elsewhere, midfield starlet Riqui Puig is officially part of the first-team squad and will wear No. 12, while defender Ronald Araujo also steps up from Barcelona B and takes over Ivan Rakitic’s No. 4

Here’s a look at the full squad:

Braithwaite wore the No. 19 shirt last season but that has been passed on to midfielder Matheus Fernandes who joined the club this summer from Palmeiras.

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Braithwaite Facing Battle at Barcelona

Braithwaite may be wearing the No. 9 this season at the Camp Nou but faces a real battle for a place in Ronald Koeman’s team. The Denmark international missed the start of the season through injury but is still yet to feature despite returning to fitness.

The Denmark international is behind the likes of Ansu Fati, Antoine Griezmann, and Lionel Messi in the pecking order and also faces competition from Ousmane Dembele, Francisco Trincao and Pedri for a place in the attack.

Koeman also admitted he wanted to bring in a new No. 9 in the transfer window to replace Suarez but failed to land top target Memphis Depay from French side Lyon.


Braithwaite Determined to Succeed

Braithwaite has made it clear how determined he is to succeed at the Camp Nou after arriving on an emergency transfer from Leganes in February in an interview with BT.

“There are, of course, a lot of rumours. Our whole team has been linked away, so it’s only natural that I, too, have been linked. This is how it is to play at Barcelona when you do not achieve the club’s goal.

“To be honest, I have not had any talks about changing clubs with anyone at all. You’re the first one I talk to about it, because I have not had a single thought about it at all.

“I’m just thinking about how to prepare to play well for Barcelona next season. I’m insanely hungry to get out next season and win a lot of titles.”

The striker’s ambition and enthusiasm are admirable but he has huge shoes to fill when it comes to replacing Suarez. The Uruguay international is Barcelona’s third highest goalscorer of all-time, netting 198 goals in 283 games for the Catalans.

READ NEXT: Barcelona Make Final Decision on Riqui Puig’s Future


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