·1 October 2022
·1 October 2022
With injuries coming thick and fast, Barcelona manager Xavi decided to run a trial and error system to find a temporary right-back in case of emergency. And as it turns out, the likes of Alejandro Balde, Eric Garica and new signing Marcos Alonso were all tested at the position.
As reported by Catalunya Radio (h/t Reshad Rahman), the manager tested the aforementioned trio at the right-back position during the various training drills this week.
Of those who were a part of it, it seems 18-year-old Balde managed to convince Xavi to the extent that he got the nod ahead of everyone at the right side of defence during the away game against Mallorca.
Xavi has been forced to work under such circumstances mostly because his preferred players, Jules Kounde, Hector Bellerin and Ronald Araujo are all out for a subsequent amount of time.
Kounde, in particular, was Xavi’s chosen one against Elche and Bayern Munich. The Frenchman, deployed at the right-back spot, was selected even after the manager had the services of Hector Bellerin available at his disposal.
For now, there is no return date mentioned for the Frenchman, but it is said that he will make himself available for the first El Clasico of the season. As for Araujo, he recently underwent successful surgery in Finland in order to cure his right thigh.
He remains one of the long-term absentees and as accepted by Xavi, his absence will make a big impact.
As far as Bellerin is concerned, he picked up a leg injury in training on Tuesday and is expected to miss as many as three to four weeks of action.
It is because of the aforementioned that Xavi is forced to use a natural left-back at the right side of defence. But if the players have trained, there should be no compromise in terms of quality.
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