Barcelona’s injury problems are mounting with right-back Sergi Roberto ruled out of action for two months with a thigh injury.
The club confirmed the news after seeing the 28-year-old forced off with the problem at the end of their 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium on Saturday.
Center-back Gerard Pique was also taken off injured during the game. Barca offered an update on the defender’s condition but stopped short of confirming how much time the defender will miss.
There are fears Pique could be out of action for up to six months. Barca are already without Samuel Umtiti and Ronald Araujo due to injury, leaving Clement Lenglet as their only fit senior center-back currently.
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Time for Dest to Shine?
Roberto’s injury gives new signing Sergino Dest the chance to impress at the Camp Nou. The USMNT star made an instant impression when he first arrived from Ajax in October, filling in for injured left-back Jordi Alba, but has since dropped out of the team.
Dest now has the perfect opportunity to feature in his preferred right-back position and make the spot his own. Barca have never really managed to replace Dani Alves in that position, but Dest will be hoping he can go on and emulate the Brazilian.
The 20-year-old has already spoken about the influence Alves has had on his career, as reported by AS.
Daniel Alves is my role model. I have seen many videos of him and I learned a lot from watching him on YouTube. Yes, I can be similar to Daniel Alves. I want to be like Alves. Running all the time. If I have to train more for that, I’ll do it.
Dest’s next outing is expected to come on Tuesday when Barca face Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League. The American has already made his debut in Europe’s elite competition for Barca, featuring in the 5-1 win over Ferencvaros at the Camp Nou.
Injuries Come at a Bad Time for Barcelona
Barca’s injury problems come at a bad time with the team struggling for form and results. Saturday’s defeat to Atletico was Barca’s third in La Liga in 2020-21 and leaves the Catalan giants already nine points behind the Rojiblancos.
Koeman has urged his side to improve and go on a winning run after overseeing yet another defeat, as reported by ESPN.
Like any coach, I am responsible. I will keep showing confidence in the players I have, but there are things we have to improve in defence and attack. We need to win a run of games. “It’s a big gap but there’s a long way to go in the league and a lot of games. We know every game is hard. But, after this game, we now have to go on a really good run.
Barca’s form has been better in the Champions League. Koeman’s men have won all three group games so far and head to Ukraine for Tuesday’s match knowing another positive result would seal their place in the knockout stages with two games left to play.