Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez has hit back at recent reports regarding Pablo Torre’s attitude and has backed the teenage midfielder to be a success at the Camp Nou.
Torre signed from Racing in the summer but has struggled for game time so far this season. The teenager has made only five substitute appearances in La Liga and has admitted he’s found it hard to get minutes, as reported by Diario Sport.
Xavi was asked about the youngster at a pre-match press conference and praised his professionalism as well as explaining why he has not had regular minutes so far this season.
“I’ve read different things about Pablo Torre that is fake news. He’s an example in the locker room, a professional, he works really well, is involved, loves football. He’s loved in the locker room,” he said. “He’s a fantastic guy. The issue is that there is a lot of competition, he is playing minutes in the Barça first team and that is a lot. He is helping us. I hope he can be important and he has to be ready to participate.”
Xavi has previously told reporters that he’s not been very fair with the teenager and that Torre is in a “difficult situation” at the club because of the competition for places in midfield with Sergio Busquets, Gavi, Pedri, Franck Kessie and Frenkie de Jong in the squad.
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More Competition For Torre?
Torre may find it even harder to force his way into the team next season, with Barcelona confirming on Friday, April 28 that young midfielder Aleix Garrido has signed a new deal with the club.
Garrido made his debut this season against Elche and earned plenty of praise for his substitute appearance from Xavi after the win, as reported by Marca.
The teenager will be part of the reserve team for the 2022-23 campaign but will be hoping for more first-team call-ups. Xavi told his press conference that he believes Garrido has a big future ahead of him.
“I think he has a lot of talent,” he told reporters. “When he was in the squad a few weeks ago I told him he can have a fantastic future at the club.”
Ansu Fati Also Struggling For Minutes
Torre is not the only player who has spent more time on the bench than the pitch this season. Ansu Fati has only made 11 La Liga starts, with Xavi telling reporters his lack of game time is because Robert Lewandowski, Ferran Torres and Raphinha have shown better form.
“I see that Ferran and Raphinha are a little better than Ansu, also Robert,” he explained. “Ansu and the rest of the players are competing between themselves. He’s played, he’s been important, scored important goals. There is big competition for places at Barca.”
Fati’s reduced role this season has seen his father accuse Xavi of a lack of respect towards his son, as reported by Adria Albets for Cadena Ser. However, the youngster has since sent out a message suggesting he is happy at the club and wants to continue.
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