Barçelona has been hit with another injury blow with news that striker Martin Braithwaite is expected to miss the next 3-4 months due to a serious knee injury.
The striker picked up a problem during Barcelona’s 2-1 win over Getafe last time out which forced him to miss Denmark’s September World Cup qualifiers against Scotland, Faroe Islands, and Israel.
According to Catalan journalist Gerard Romero, Braithwaite left training on Sunday with knee pain and could miss up to four months of action because of “problems in the patella of his knee derived from cartilage wear.”
The news is a real blow and adds to coach Ronald Koeman’s problems in attack. The Dutchman is already with Sergio Aguero, Ousmane Dembele, and Ansu Fati due to injury, while Antoine Griezmann left on loan on deadline day.
The injury problems mean that Braithwaite had started all three of Barcelona’s La Liga fixtures so far in 2021-22, alongside Griezmann and Memphis Depay, scoring two goals and picking up an assist.
However, Koeman must now find a replacement for the Denmark international. As it stands, the Dutch coach only has Luuk de Jong, Memphis Depay, Philippe Coutinho and 18-year-old Yusuf Demir as fit attacking options.
Follow the Heavy on Barcelona Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Chance For Luuk de Jong?
Braithwaite’s injury could hand new signing De Jong the chance to impress for his new club. The Dutch striker arrived on deadline day from Sevilla on a season-long loan, and the deal does include a purchase option.
De Jong could now make his debut for Barcelona on Tuesday’s Champions League clash against Bayern Munich at the Camp Nou. He told reporters at his unveiling that he’s ready to play, as reported by Diario Sport.
“I had a bad knee injury but I’ve been training for three or four weeks. I’m in shape and prepared,” he said. “I don’t know what Koeman is planning for the game, but I’m ready. I hope to be stronger for the game against Bayern.”
Koeman has already talked up his new signing. He told NOS that De Jong can be “more dangerous” than Neymar from crosses and feels every team should have a striker like the 31-year-old.
All Eyes On Memphis Depay
All eyes will also be on fellow new arrival Memphis to provide the goals this season, and the Dutchman has certainly started life at the Camp Nou well. Memphis has two goals and assist in his first three La Liga games for the Catalan giants.
Barcelona legend Samuel Eto’o has been impressed with the Dutchman and told Catalunya Radio he’s already shown he can inspire the Catalan giants in the wake of Lionel Messi’s exit, as reported by Goal.
“The luck that Barça has had is that he has signed Memphis,” he said. “He has important club experience, he has shown that he can put the team on his back and I think it will be him [the new leader].”
Memphis heads into Tuesday’s match against Bayern after a prolific time with the Netherlands during the international break. The forward bagged a brace against Montenegro and followed that up with a hat-trick against Turkey. Barca will be hoping he continue that form back at the Camp Nou.