After the departure of Sergio Busquets, Barcelona reinforced the pivot midfield position during the summer transfer window with the signing of Oriol Romeu.
The 32-year-old made a solid start to life back at his boyhood club but there has been a dip in his performance levels in recent matches.
Furthermore, as far as the defensive midfield slot goes, Barça do not have a natural backup for Romeu in the squad.
As such, talk is rife about a move for a new No. 6, although finances dictate that they will have to wait until the summer transfer window to make any signings.
Given the circumstances, Barcelona might have to dip into their academy reserves for a solution and Jaume Mercet of SPORT claims that five La Masia prospects could offer Xavi and the Blaugrana a solution.
The captain of the Barça Atletic team, Marc Casado has already tasted first-team football, making his senior debut last season while he has been a regular in training sessions under Xavi and was even called up to the matchday squad regularly earlier this season.
The 21-year-old is a hard-working defensive midfielder who is known for his ability to win back possession from opponents and his endless energy reserves. Casado also happens to be very reliable with the ball at his feet.
The revelation of the new season for Barça Atletic, 16-year-old Marc Bernal has made the jump from Cadete A to the subsidiary team in a matter of months and is a regular for Rafa Marquez’s team.
The teenager has featured in five of Barça Atletic’s seven league games this season and even registered an assist. A left-footed, physically strong, and powerful presence in midfield despite his young age, Bernal backs it up with his vision and distribution skills.
The 17-year-old Pau Prim is a player that Xavi has had his eye on and could be an option to provide cover in the pivot midfield position for the first team. The teenager has been shuttling between the Juvenil A and the Barça Atletic teams this season and has been impressing.
Like Bernal, Prim is also said to possess great vision and has the ability to drive forward from midfield. On top of that, the teenager is ambipedal, i.e., equally good with both his feet, which opens up more avenues for him when in midfield.
The 16-year-old Dani Avila is yet to break into the Barça Atletic setup and is currently shuttling between the Juvenil B and Juvenil A teams where he is putting in solid displays in the middle of the park.
Avila is a versatile midfielder capable of playing as a No. 6 or an interior midfielder and is known for his long-range passing. Defensively sound and disciplined, the teenager also boasts a fierce shot from distance.
Wesley Dual, likened to Chelsea legend N’Golo Kante, was recently in the news for saying that he would never consider playing for Barcelona’s arch-rivals Real Madrid. The 16-year-old is currently a part of the Juvenil B setup at Barça.
Wesley is more of an interior midfielder but can also play as a pivot when needed and stands out for his dynamism and ability to cover every blade of grass on the pitch. Good at ball recovery, his positioning is also a strong facet.