BARCELONA – Xavi Hernández’s Barcelona, already presented as a new coach, will begin its journey on Tuesday with a first preparatory session in which the Catalan will convey to his players the master keys of his project … which will begin dramatically affected by injuries , which affect ten footballers, and the absence of another eleven concentrated with their national teams.
While waiting for the recovery of Neto, who did not travel to Vigo suffering from a flu condition and which was, is, the only absence not affected by an injury, Xavi will find a surprisingly fragile squad that will clearly condition the first days, weeks, of his sports project.
From the outset, perhaps the most worrying thing, the coach must begin to shape his ideology with the absence of those who venture as his indisputable referents in attack together with Memphis Depay (the only one with Sergio Busquets who has played all the official matches). Ousmane Dembélé was injured when he returned from Kiev, where he reappeared after four months of absence, and Ansu Fati broke down in Vigo, in his second game as a starter after two away due to the relapse he suffered against Real Madrid.
Very little inclined to give information on the recovery processes of the players, Barça limited itself to pointing out, as usual, that “evolution will mark availability” in both cases, although if the Frenchman is very doubtful that he can reach the derby against At Espanyol on November 20, the youth squad, injured in the hamstrings of his left leg, will hopefully not be away from the pitch for less than a month.
Both are added to Kun Agüero, who suffered an arrhythmia in the clash against Alavés and who will be out for a minimum of three months to determine if he is fit to return to activity and to Martin Braithwaite, who underwent knee surgery after injuring himself on 29 August against Getafe and whose reappearance is estimated in January 2022.
If Xavi’s lead is below minimums, there is also concern in the other lines. Pedri González, who played up to 52 games last season, has barely added four this year after suffering two muscle injuries argued in obvious physical fatigue due to his previous overexposure, in which after finishing the campaign with Barça he linked the European Championship and the Olympic Games. His recovery for the derby is not ruled out, although the club remains cautious, not wanting to take unnecessary risks.
Yes, there is confidence in the presence against Espanyol of Èric García and Nico González, both replaced in the Celta field by muscular overloads and that, replaced in the national team and although they cannot exercise at full capacity in these coming days they do not cause any greater alarm at the Camp Nou.
The same happens with Sergiño Dest, who has been absent from Kiev due to a low back pain that did not allow him to play in Vigo either, but he should be able to reappear in the next game, but not with Gerard Piqué or Sergi Roberto.
The center-back suffered an elongation in the soleus of his right leg against Alavés and the club has not given time for his reappearance, it being very doubtful that he is fit to play the derby, as occurs with the versatile midfielder, with an elongation in the quadriceps of the right leg and of whom neither Barcelona informs of his period of absence, more taking into account the many physical problems that he has suffered during the last year.
ABSENT FROM SELECTION
All of them are added to eleven other players with whom Xavi will not be able to work until well into next week after having moved to the concentrations of his national teams.
Alejandro Balde will play for the Spanish under-19 team while Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets and Gavi will play for the senior team. Frenkie de Jong and Memphis Depay left with the Netherlands, Ter Stegen with Germany, Lenglet with France, Demir with Austria, Ronald Araújo with Uruguay and Philippe Coutinho with Brazil, all of them focused on transcendental qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup. .