Pique: Barcelona will adapt to Messi midfield role

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The Argentine could take on a deeper role in the 2017-18 season but the defender has no qualms about the potential impact on his side

Gerard Pique believes that Barcelona will be able to adapt their style if Lionel Messi transitions into a central midfield role this season.

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Goal understands that Barca plan to deploy summer signing Gerard Deulofeu on the right flank, with Messi featuring in a deeper role at Camp Nou.

Ernesto Valverde is likely to move to a 3-4-3 formation, leading to Messi playing as a playmaker, and Pique is sure they will be able to make a smooth transition.

"We all get older and our physical qualities go down, it's something that happens to every player when time goes on, there are players who feel it more than others but we all try to adapt our style,” he told Goal during a Rakuten sponsorship event.

Arda Turan and Neymar joined Pique at the event, and the trio are all confident of enjoying great success under Valverde, formerly of Athletic Bilbao.

"I remember him at Bilbao, he has a good character, when they played against us they always played well and had a powerful team,” said Arda. “I know he is a good trainer and now we are going to see him at the highest level.”

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Neymar added: “I agree with Arda but I don't personally know the new coach, I have heard lots of good things about him.”

And Pique believes that Valverde’s history as a Barca player will stand him in good stead: “He is a coach with a consolidated career, he has worked with many teams in Spanish championship, he was a Barcelona player and I think he has all the possible requirements for doing a great job.”

However, the former Manchester United defender maintains that Barca must not get ahead of themselves as they look to reclaim their Liga title in 2017-18.

"In the sports world…  you depend on results. If they are positive it is OK, but if not, there are always things you can change: players, coaches... the future has to be seen in a maximum lapse of two months because you can never predict it.

“We can be challenging for the Champions League or be out of all competitions, for example, so you must think day by day."

Rakuten is the main global partner of FC Barcelona. #BarçaRakuten

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