The Belgian argues the two Argentinians play a similar style of football and it will be difficult for the Catalans to keep both of them
Luc Eymael believes the arrival of Sergio Aguero at Barcelona could finally bring the curtain down on long-serving forward Lionel Messi.
The Argentine was officially unveiled at Camp Nou on Monday on a free transfer following his departure from Manchester City, bringing to an end his illustrious 10-year career at Etihad Stadium.
The 32-year-old underwent a medical at Camp Nou on Monday before signing a two-year contract with the Blaugrana.
Barca moved for Aguero after City’s decision to let the striker go at the end of his contract, bringing to an end his trophy-laden tenure in Manchester.
Giving his thoughts on the latest transfer, Eymael, who has handled several teams across Africa, has told Goal the arrival of Aguero could likely trigger a move for Messi since the two players play the same role and style of football and “Barcelona cannot afford to keep both of them.”
What has been said?
“It means with Sergio [Aguero] now on board, then Messi has to move, he has to move,” Eymael told Goal on Tuesday.
“But will he [Messi] be okay to move? Because you know Messi is not working a lot for the ball because he is on the wing, will he work enough for the ball?
“Sergio [Aguero] is also not a big fighter for the ball, and in the team like Barcelona you can only have one player who is not fighting for the ball and everybody knew it was Messi, but you cannot have two players, not fighting for the ball that is not possible, I don’t see it working out and maybe Messi will give way.”
On whether Aguero will make it at Barcelona, Eymael said: “It depends, it depends with how he will work out an understanding with Antoine [Griezmann], with Messi [if he stays], and you know in Barcelona everything comes from Messi, so he has to work his way out to prove himself.
“Everything in Barcelona depends on the understanding you have with Messi and the new coach who will come in and that is the biggest problem, so I really cannot tell if he will make it at Barcelona or not, we have to wait and see who is the new coach if they will keep Messi and what role will he [Aguero] be given to play at the club.”
Eymael continued: “It will also depend on the new coach who will go to Barcelona, that is the first thing if it is a coach who doesn’t like to play him [Aguero] as a striker then it will not be comfortable for him again.
“If Barcelona get a coach who will play him as a striker then Messi will move to number 10 or the wing and then [Griezmann] to play behind him, then he can really do well, remember Barcelona didn’t have a good season and they want to compete, so they have to reinforce.”
The summer window is shaping up as an eventful one at Camp Nou as they look to recover from a disappointing season in which they finished third in La Liga and were knocked out in the Round of 16 of the Champions League.