Martin Braithwaite has officially inherited the No.9 shirt at Barcelona following Luis Suarez’s departure.
The Uruguayan got his hands on 13 trophies during his time in Barcelona, and scored a total of 198 goals in 283 games, but ended up leaving the club in controversial fashion.
Ronald Koeman told Suarez he would not be in his plans for the 2020-21 campaign upon his appointment as the Blaugrana’s new head coach in August, and he subsequently pushed to be released from his contract.
The 33-year-old initially agreed personal terms with Juventus before negotiations broke down because Barca refused to pay his full annual salary through to next summer.
The Spanish giants eventually ended up allowing Suarez to join a mainLiga rival in Atletico, but six-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi was among those to voice his frustration at the club for forcing out a talismanic figure.
Barca weren’t able to bring in a replacement for Suarez or indeed any kind of attacking reinforcements before Monday’s transfer deadline, with a proposed deal for Lyon’s Memphis Depay ultimately falling through due to a lack of funds.
Messi, Antoine Griezmann, Ansu Fati and Ousmane Dembele now make up Koeman’s forward line along with Braithwaite, who secured a surprise emergency switch to Camp Nou from Leganes in February.
Despite the fact the Denmark forward has yet to feature for Barca in 2020-21, he has been passed down the jersey which Suarez quickly made his own after joining the club from Liverpool in 2014.
It had been suggested in the Spanish media that Braithwaite had askedfor Messi’s No.10 shirt earlier this summer, having seen the Blaugrana captain hand in a transfer request following a humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in last season’s Champions League quarter-finals.
The 29-year-old angrily dismissed the reports, however, telling Danish newspaper BT last month:”What do people think themselves?
“Of course I did not go to the club and ask for Messi’s number. It would be so disrespectful.
“I really feel that the people who come up with these kinds of stories lack respect for a lot of people.”
Source : goal.com