5 priorities for new Barcelona manager Hansi Flick

5 priorities for new Barcelona manager Hansi Flick
5 priorities for new Barcelona manager Hansi Flick

It's been an oddly quiet few weeks at Barcelona after months of 'will he, won't he?' speculation over Xavi Hernandez's future as manager and Hansi Flick's subsequent appointment.

The former Bayern Munich and Germany boss now has one of the biggest and most demanding jobs in football and, with Real Madrid only going from strength to strength in their recruitment, has his work cut out for him if the Catalan giants are to challenge for major honours next season, both domestically and in Europe.

But where on earth should Flick start to lift an iconic club back to its glorious heights of yesteryear? Here are the jobs he needs to get stuck into promptly as Barcelona's new manager.

1. Stop the off-field circus

Whether one manager can change a whole club's love of chaos and havoc remains to be seen, but the off-field drama has undoubtedly been a massive Achilles heel for Barca in recent years.

President Joan Laporta loves spouting his opinion whenever prompted but it's undeniable that he made life more difficult than necessary for Flick's predecessor Xavi before finally giving the legendary midfielder the boot.

Flick was part of an efficient winning-machine at Bayern Munich and cannot allow someone who isn't even part of the coaching staff dictate how he runs his football operations.

2. Don't overload the youngsters

The injuries that have plagued Barca midfielder Pedri in recent years are the stuff of infamy and not mistakes the club can afford to make with some of their breakout stars going forward.

Lamine Yamal looks to be a generational talent but the Catalan giants have already showed a dodgy reliance on the teenage winger. He played 37 La Liga games last season and another ten in the Champions League and such overloading cannot be allowed to continue. He's still a kid, after all.

Gavi will also return after an anterior cruciate ligament injury ended his 2023/24 campaign and Barca have to do a better job in looking after their stars of the future in the next couple of years to stop these career-affecting injuries occurring so regularly.

3. Play to Robert Lewandowski's strengths

As one of Barca's big earners, the future of Robert Lewandowski attracted significant media interest towards the end of the 2023/24 campaign.

The legendary Polish striker was often made out as a scapegoat for the club's poor La Liga title defence but still ended the season as their top goalscorer with 19 strikes.

He may be a different breed of lethal finisher compared to former stars Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, but Lewandowski can clearly still cut it - he just needs a defined style of play and more consistency behind him to flourish once more.

4. Figure out what Vitor Roque does

One of the big points of contention between Xavi and Laporta was teenager Vitor Roque's role in the squad. The 19-year-old started just two league games last season and made 12 substitute appearances, scoring only twice.

He may not prove to be Barca's answer to Real Madrid's Brazilian stars Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo, but he certainly wasn't given enough opportunities to showcase his talent during his debut campaign in Catalonia.

Barca will want Flick to show a little more faith in Roque during 2024/25 given they parted with €30m and could end up forking out a similar figure in add-ons in the future.

5. Work smartly within the club's financial framework

Everyone knows Barca have financial limitations in the transfer market. There doesn't seem to be many more levers for Laporta to pull, so some fringe players will need to be shipped out to make room for new squad members who can make more of an impact.

Joao Cancelo and Joao Felix are both keen to stay at Barca and renewed loan deals are possible, while another cheap option in defensive midfield will likely be brought in.

Flick has enough knowhow of the market to make informed decisions but will need to make quick and ruthless decisions on the players he wants to keep and those he is happy to part ways with.