This is what Xavi has planned for Barcelona after Pedri’s injury

Barcelona’s Injury Crisis: How Xavi Can Navigate the Absence of Key Players

Just two weeks into the new La Liga season, Barcelona are already grappling with significant injuries to two key players: Ronald Araujo and Pedri. Araujo, the 24-year-old defender, sustained his injury post-Getafe match and sat out during the weekend clash with Cadiz. Fortunately, he is expected to return after the upcoming international break. On the other hand, Pedri’s case appears more concerning. The 20-year-old midfield sensation suffered a thigh injury and could be sidelined until the international break in October.

The Pedri Problem

The absence of Pedri throws a wrench into Barcelona’s midfield plans. Speculation arose about the club eyeing Giovani Lo Celso as a potential replacement. However, due to Financial Fair Play constraints, a last-minute transfer seems increasingly unlikely. Thus, Xavi might have no choice but to look inward for solutions over the next month or so.

The Gundogan Solution

According to Didac Peyret of SPORT, the most apparent internal replacement for Pedri is Ilkay Gundogan. The German international has already started both of Barcelona’s league games since his move from Manchester City. Gundogan appears well-suited to shoulder the creative responsibilities in Pedri’s absence. If Xavi continues to employ four central midfielders, Gavi could step into the starting XI as a pseudo-winger. Alternatively, Gundogan could pair up with Frenkie de Jong and Oriol Romeu to form a formidable three-man midfield.

Academy Options

Xavi has other internal alternatives, too. Fermin Lopez, a 20-year-old academy graduate, has shown promise in pre-season and could cover for Pedri. Although he hasn’t made his official debut, that situation could change soon due to Pedri’s injury. Sergi Roberto, the team’s captain, could also fill Pedri’s shoes, having played in the youngster’s role last season.

Tapping into Barça B

In addition to these first-team options, Xavi could consider talents from Barça’s reserve team. Aleix Garrido is one such candidate, a player Xavi could look to integrate into the main squad. Notably, 16-year-old Noah Darvich recently trained with the first-team setup, raising speculation about his possible promotion.

A Balanced Approach

Given the constraints and challenges, Xavi might employ a balanced approach. He could rotate between experienced players like Gundogan and younger talents like Lopez, or even Darvich. This rotation strategy would not only provide a stopgap solution for the injuries but also offer valuable experience to younger players.

The Road Ahead

Barcelona face a testing time as they navigate these early-season injuries. The club’s depth will be truly tested, and Xavi’s managerial skills will come under the spotlight. While external transfers may seem like quick fixes, the Financial Fair Play rules have tied Barcelona’s hands. As a result, Xavi has to turn to his squad and make the best out of the resources at hand.

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Barcelona’s injury crisis could turn into an opportunity for younger talents and new signings to prove their mettle. How Xavi maneuvers through this challenging period will be critical not just for the current season, but also for shaping Barcelona’s future.

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