Xavi prefers Barcelona academy graduate over 21-year-old Koeman signing | OneFootball
Xavi prefers Barcelona academy graduate over 21-year-old Koeman signing
Barcelona will face off against Real Betis later today at Camp Nou in a crucial La Liga encounter. With Los Verdiblancos four points clear of the Catalan giants in the fifth place, a victory for Xavi & co. will help them close down the gap and move up the table.
Heading into the game, Barca will continue to be without the services of Ansu Fati, who is still recovering from his hamstring issue. There is some positive news, however, as defender Sergino Dest has fully recuperated from his injury and is available for selection.
Xavi confirmed as much in his pre-match presser on Friday, claiming that the USMNT international will be in contention to feature when Real Betis come visiting.
The 41-year-old manager utilised Eric Garcia in an unnatural right-back role against Villarreal last time out, a move that did not pay off. At the same time, Oscar Mingueza has not been in the best form of late while Sergi Roberto is out injured. With Dani Alves yet to be registered, Dest’s return comes as a timely one for Barca.
However, SPORT reports that Xavi is not convinced by the 21-year-old right-back. Instead, it is claimed that the manager prefers Mingueza, in spite of his poor form, and is likely to hand the La Masia product a start against Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
The report states that Xavi feels Mingueza, despite his recent issues, is more well-attuned with the Barcelona way of playing that the manager is keen on reintroducing after the Ronald Koeman era. The head coach believes that Dest has a lot to learn and adapt to before he can become a regular. Furthermore, with him only returning from a spell on the sidelines, the management is looking to ease him back into action.
Dest arrived at Barca from AFC Ajax in the summer last year. The 21-year-old has had a hit-and-miss time at Camp Nou, showing positive attributes but lacking in some aspects. And, it seems like the signing from the Koeman era has some way to go before he can win over Xavi’s trust.