Xavi Wants To Promote Center-Forward To Barcelona Squad: Report

Xavi Lewandowksi

Getty Xavi must cope without Lewandowksi.

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez has lost top scorer Robert Lewandowski to a three-match ban, following his red card against Osasuna, and is short of options when it comes to center-forwards.

Ansu Fati was chosen to replace Lewandowski in Barcelona’s 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid but had a quiet game and was taken off after just 57 minutes of the match at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

Xavi is now considering promoting 18-year-old Angel Alarcon to the first team as the striker is “one of his favorite players at La Masia,” as reported by Albert Roge at Relevo.

The teenager has primarily been used as a winger but Xavi think he can be a “great player” at center-forward. Alarcon’s contract expires in June but Barca want him to renew and think he could have a big future at the club.

Barcelona’s next match is a Spanish Super Cup clash against Real Betis which Lewandowski will be available to play in. However, the Catalans will still be without the Poland international for games against Getafe and Girona in La Liga.

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Ferran Torres Gives Xavi Another Problem

Alarcon’s best chance of game time looks to be in the Copa del Rey. Barcelona have been drawn against Ceuta, the lowest ranked team left in the competition, in the round of 16 and will be overwhelming favourites to progress to the quarter-finals.

Xavi rotated his team in the previous round and saw his side need extra-time to see off Intercity. However, if he is serious about giving Alarcon a chance then the cup looks the best opportunity of gaining valuable first-team minutes.

Yet there is a slim chance Alarcon could be called up for La Liga games imminently. Lewandowski is set to be joined on the sidelines by Ferran Torres after the former Man City man was sent off against Atletico.

A suspension is yet to be confirmed but it’s expected Torres will be banned for around two or three games after seeing red for an on-field brawl with Atletico defender Stefan Savic.

The loss of both attackers leaves Xavi really short of central striking options. Fati and Memphis Depay are the only real options available to the coach, offering Alarcon hope of a call up in January.

Barcelona’s Future Looks Bright

Alarcon is not the only Barcelona teen who has caught Xavi’s eye. The coach has also been impressed by 15-year-old Lamine Yamal and has already admitted the club have plans for the talented forward.

Yamal has also trained with the first team this season and Barcelona are keen to secure his long-term future. The youngster is not able to sign a professional contract until July, when he turns 16, but Barca have already initiated talks, as reported by Marca.

Alarcon’s contract also expires in the summer but it seems clear he is already in Barca’s plans for the future. A call-up this season would send a strong message to the youngster about his future and offer Alarcon a tantalising glimpse of what it’s like to be a first-teamer at the Camp nou.

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