Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez has admitted he feels bad after seeing striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leave the club on deadline day and seal a move to Chelsea.
The Catalan giants have confirmed that the striker has been sold to the Premier League side for €12 million. Xavi was asked about Aubameyang at a news conference and spoke at length about the attacker.
“I feel bad because he helped us a lot. He was an example on and off the pitch. He made a big difference, look at his numbers, as a person he’s a jewel, always training with a smile on his face,” he said. “Yes it’s a shame, these kinds of players you want in your squad but it was a good opportunity for him and the club as well. In the end I think we are all happy but I feel bad as a trainer to lose a player like Aubameyang. He was an example for the entire club and all the players.”
Aubameyang only arrived in Barcelona in January but made a big impression at the club in his short spell. The striker finished joint top scorer last season on 13 goals, level with Memphis Depay, and played a big role in the team’s rise up the table to finish in second.
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Xavi Responds To Jordi Alba Rumors
Xavi also opened up on rumors that Barcelona had agreed a deal with Inter for Jordi Alba in the final days of the transfer window. The Barcelona coach has left Alba out of his team’s last two matches but says he still has a role to play.
“Jordi is another player in the squad. He’ll be important for us. He’s a player who is key, with his experience and his talent, his commitment to the group. As a captain I have no complaints,” he said. “He’ll play for sure, there will be injuries and sanctions, so no player is safe from everything. The players who will play will be the ones who are in the best condition. It will be based on meritocracy. Look at the titles he has won. We want to make sure the team benefits from all the players.”
Youngster Alejandro Balde has been preferred to Alba in Barcelona’s last two games and it will be interesting to see if Xavi sticks with the 18-year-old for the team’s next match at Sevilla on Saturday, September 3.
Xavi On Barcelona’s New Arrrivals
Barca finished off an eventful transfer window by bringing in Hector Bellerin from Arsenal on deadline day. Marcos Alonso will also arrive on a free transfer after terminating his contract at Chelsea.
Xavi was asked about the two defenders and explained why he wanted both at the Camp Nou.
“I wanted pure wing-backs because that was what was urgently needed. A right-back was needed because we didn’t have a pure one. Bellerin was formed here, he’s a great professional. He’s a good teammate and I think will help us,” he said. “Marcos is the same. He has a certain edge, comes from Chelsea, he can play in different positions. I’m very happy. We needed to strengthen those positions and we have.”
Much will be expected of Xavi’s side after a busy transfer window that saw eight players arrive to strengthen the squad. The team are unbeaten after their first three games but face a tough test next at Sevilla.
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