Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez has offered his backing to struggling attacker Ferran Torres who is enduring a difficult first full season at the Camp Nou with the Catalan giants.
Torres has only scored 2 La Liga goals so far in 2022-23 and has slipped down the pecking order. Robert Lewandowski, Ousmane Dembele, Ansu Fati, and Raphinha all appear ahead of Torres when it comes to team selection.
The Spain international is also currently serving a two-match ban, after being sent off against Atletico Madrid, meaning he will not be available to play against Girona in Barcelona’s next game.
Xavi has been asked about Torres’s situation at a pre-match press conference and talked up his qualities. The coach also explained he feels Torres needs a goal to get him out of his current slump.
“Ferran always trains well. He is always motivated, with ambition. He’s a professional. He’s an example to the squad and that’s fantastic for a manager. He always works really well. It doesn’t matter how many minutes he plays,” he said. “He always fights for the team and for me that’s really important. He needs to score to increase his confidence but he’s training well and that’s the most important thing.”
Torres’s last goal for Barcelona came all the way back in November when he grabbed a brace in a dead rubber against Viktoria Plzen in the Champions Leauge group stages.
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‘Fifth Choice’ Ferran Heading For Barca Exit?
Barcelona invested heavily in Torres in January 2022, bringing him in from Manchester City in a deal worth €55 million. However, the forward has largely struggled to live up to that lofty price tag.
The arrivals of Lewandowski and Raphinha have not helped his cause either, with the competition for places meaning he has only started 6 league games so far this season for Barcelona.
Torres is now clearly fifth choice attacker at Barcelona under Xavi, according to Diario Sport. His situation has also drawn interest from Atletico Madrid, who asked about his availability during talks over a deal to sign Memphis Depay, as reported by Sport.
Abde Another Problem For Torres
Another problem for Torres could lie in the shape of Ez Abde. The Moroccan winger is currently on loan at Osasuna but has been impressing. He scored an extra-time winner against Sevilla last time out to fire his team into the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey.
Abde will return to Barcelona at the end of the season, and the Catalan giants have already decided he will be in the first-team squad next season, according to Sport.
Barcelona moved to secure Abde’s future before he headed out on loan, suggesting he was always in the club’s long-term plans. The winger extended his contract until 2026 before making the temporary switch.
Abde has gone on to make 12 La Liga appearances so far this season and also featured for Morocco at World Cup 2022. The winger’s campaign appears to have gone down well at Barca and the Catalans will be hoping he can be a very useful addition to the squad for next season.