Barcelona will lose Abde for a month for his call to the Africa Cup

BARCELONA – Barcelona, ​​whose squad is already on vacation until December 28, will not be able to count on Abde Ezzalzouli for the entire month of January (and perhaps the first week of February) if the player goes to the call of the federation of his country, Morocco, which summoned him to take part in the Africa Cup to be held in Cameroon between January 9 and February 6.

His presence in the tournament, Barça sources confirmed to ESPN Digital, is not yet fully confirmed, but it is considered unlikely that he could reject the call.

The 20-year-old Barça footballer, who has already participated, with the second team’s number, in eight league games (the last five as a starter) has not yet made his debut with the national team but his excellent progression has not gone unnoticed by the Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic, Moroccan coach and main supporter of his call.

If his participation in the tournament is confirmed, which in recent weeks ran the risk of being suspended due to the covid, Abde would surely miss five games with Barça (which could be six if Xavi’s team eliminates Real Madrid in the semifinal of the Spanish Super Cup).

The forward would not be available in this way for the League matches against Mallorca and Granada, in addition to the Cup match against Linares, and the next one if he is eliminated, and the Spanish Super Cup.

If Morocco, which is integrated in group C of the Africa Cup together with Comoros, Ghana and Gabon, were to overcome the league (something very likely considering that the first three of each group qualify) they would play the round of 16 between the 23rd and January 25, so he would not be available to play the league game against Alavés either. The following week, on February 2, Barça should play the quarterfinals of the Cup, which probably would not have Abde available either if they go to the quarterfinals (between January 29 and 30), playing the semifinals and final of the tournament on February 2-3 and 6, the same Sunday that Barça will host Atlético de Madrid at the Camp Nou.

DAMAGE
The absence of Abde, who already debuted in the first team under the direction of Sergi Barjuan and is confirmed as one of the surprises since the arrival of Xavi Hernández to the Barcelona bench, would be a detriment to the Barça team, although mitigated by the expected recoveries from Ansu Fati, Martin Braithwaite and Memphis Depay, in addition to Pedri.

In fact, on his return there would be even more competition in Barcelona’s attack due to the signing of Ferran Torres, who is close to completing the Barça club with Manchester City …

But if the call of Abde will be a setback for Barcelona, ​​the most affected will be Julen Lopetegui’s Sevilla, to whom Morocco has called three of its players: the starting goalkeeper Bono and the forwards En-Nesyri and Munir.