Barcelona Striker Makes Surprise Admission After Xavi Chat


Getty Xavi gestures on the touchline during Barca's UCL clash with Benfica.

Barcelona striker Martin Braithwaite says he is expecting to have an “important role” at the club under new coach Xavi after chatting with the new manager of the Catalan giants.

The Denmark international has never been guaranteed a starting spot in the team during his time at the Camp Nou but told TV3 that he thinks he will be a key player once he returns from injury.

“Now it is a question of returning soon, but I will have an important role when I return,” he said. “I have spoken with him, he is clear about what he wants to do and what he wants to change. He knows how he wants to play, and that makes everything very clear. It will be very exciting.”

Braithwaite was ruled out for four months in September after undergoing surgery on a knee injury. The striker also offered an update on his current progress, “everything is progressing properly, it is going very well.”

Xavi has had to cope without several key attackers since taking charge. Ansu Fati and Sergio Aguero are also on the injured list with Braithwaite, while Ousmane Dembele has only managed two substitute appearances this season so far because of physical issues.

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Xavi Impressed By Braithwaite?

Braithwaite is yet to play under the new manager but it seems as though he’s already impressed the new coach. Toni Juanmarti at Diario Sport has reported that the two men met for a meeting where the “chemistry between them was total and absolute.”

Xavi believes the 30-year-old’s profile is “very valid” for how he wants his Barcelona team to play, and the conversation between the two was “brimming with optimism on all sides.”

Braithwaite is not expected to return to action until January 2022. However, Juanmarti also reports that the Denmark international is “convinced that he will be able to play again before the end of 2021.”

The striker’s return will be a big boost to Xavi and increase his options in attack. Xavi was also able to welcome Dembele back from injury in Barca’s Champions League draw with Benfica, while Ansu Fati could return against Bayern Munich on Wednesday, December 8, as reported by Javier Miguel at Diario AS.

Xavi Happy With Barcelona Team

Xavi has only been in charge for two games but is happy with how his team are performing. Barca started with a 1-0 win over Espanyol in La Liga and followed that up with a 0-0 draw against Benfica.

The result means Barcelona must beat Bayern Munich to guarantee a place in the last 16 of Europe’s top competition, but Xavi is feeling confident of his team’s chances, as reported by ESPN.

“What makes me most optimistic is seeing the team playing in this way,” he said. “Playing like this we can compete with anyone. Seeing what I’ve seen [against Benfica], we can go to Munich and win. The positive news is we still depend on ourselves.”

Bayern are already guaranteed top spot in Group E after winning all five group games which could mean manager Julian Nagelsmann will rotate his team for the visit of Barcelona.

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