It’s been clear for the reason that begin of the season that Xavi Hernandez and Barcelona have been pursuing a extra offensive fashion of play, but it surely has come at a price. Characterised by the inclusion of Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo within the aspect, Barcelona have turn out to be extra inventive, however far much less strong.
Diario AS be aware that Xavi was all the time against the signing of Felix, and solely ended up accepting his arrival because of the insistence of Joan Laporta and Deco. In spite of his explosive begin and a few strong performances since, Felix’s affect has continued to lower since. He is on his worst goalscoring begin to a La Liga season by 13 video games, and has not scored in 11 video games.
While Felix little doubt makes Barcelona extra unpredictable as an attacking outlet, he’s additionally unable to press as a lot as options (Gavi, earlier than his damage, Ferran Torres, Raphinha). Equally Cancelo is proving to be a dangerous selection at right-back. Barcelona’s defensive numbers have dropped off a cliff from final season, whereas Cancelo is averaging 16.5 ball losses per sport.
Xavi was eager on signing Cancelo, and had requested his presence final season, however the addition of the 2 Portuguese stars has impacted negatively on Alejandro Balde’s output on the left aspect. Cancelo’s offensive affect has additionally progressively decreased for the reason that starting of the season, with Xavi making an attempt to maneuver him round in opposition to Real Madrid, Real Sociedad and Alaves with a view to keep his affect with out exposing the Blaugrana defensively.
Now with Gavi’s damage, Xavi’s defensive headache is ready to turn out to be much more extreme, following the lack of his urgent capabilities. Xavi should now determine whether or not to change his system extra completely, stick to a 4-3-3 and attempt to good the press, or contemplate dropping certainly one of them in favour of a extra cohesive effort with out the ball.