Xavi explores options to overcome midfield shortage

Raphinha / Getty Images
Raphinha / Getty Images

Raphinah emerges as an option to reinforce midfield due to injuries.

Barcelona continues to prepare for the match against RCD Mallorca this Friday at Montjuïc. The absences of Pedri and Frenkie de Jong leave the team severely depleted in terms of personnel, hence Xavi is considering how to overcome this handicap. According to Toni Juanmarti of SPORT, one of the options that the Catalan coach is considering is modifying Raphinha’s position, who is accustomed to playing on the right wing. The emergence of Lamine Yamal on the right wing has led to Raphinha being relegated to the bench or having to adapt his position.

In Bilbao, in fact, when Lamine entered the field, the Brazilian moved to the left wing. Instead of staying wide, however, Xavi asked him to fulfill the role of a fourth midfielder, abandoning the flank and moving inside. Truth be told, Raphinha never found his place on the left side of the midfield diamond. It is true that the team had many problems generating chances, but even so, the former Leeds player did not seem comfortable approaching Lewandowski, who also failed to get involved in dangerous plays.

In recent days, Xavi has been experimenting with Raphinha playing centrally, away from his natural position. However, it is on the right side of the midfield diamond where the attacker performs better. In the current season, the Brazilian has already played in that position against Sevilla, leaving a good impression until, just before halftime, he had to withdraw due to injury.