June 14, 2024

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Xavi’s Dilemma: How to Replace Raphinha?

2 min read

Barcelona’s La Liga defense got off to a rocky start, settling for a draw against Getafe in their season opener. Now, all eyes are on their second match of the 2023-24 campaign against Cadiz at Montjuic.

Key Players Unavailable

Xavi faces some key player absences. Marcos Alonso and Inaki Pena might miss this match, and Ronald Araujo’s hamstring injury rules him out for a month.

Raphinha’s Red Card Dilemma

Adding to the woes, Raphinha received a red card in the last game for an elbow incident, earning a two-match suspension. Unfortunately, Xavi, also suspended for two games, must plan without the Brazilian winger.

Rivals for Raphinha’s Role

Diario AS identifies three potential replacements for Raphinha:

1. Ferran Torres

Torres emerges as the frontrunner. He impressed during Barcelona’s preseason, finishing as the top scorer. With experience and a knack for the right wing, he stands as the preferred choice.

2. Ez Abde

Abde maintains good form, carried over from a successful loan spell at CA Osasuna last season. However, his strength lies on the left wing, potentially placing him behind Torres in the pecking order.

3. Lamine Yamal

This could be Yamal’s debut for the Barcelona first team, though starting seems unlikely. While he showcased promise in the USA, the Joan Gamper Trophy, and against Getafe, he might not be ready for a competitive start. Nevertheless, he offers a strong option off the bench.

Hence, it’s likely Ferran Torres will earn his first start of the 2023-24 season. Yet, Abde and Yamal have a chance to shine during Raphinha’s suspension.

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