Xavi could rely on 19-year-old midfielder as right-back for Mallorca clash
The recent spate of injuries that Barcelona have had to endure has left manager Xavi Hernandez light on options in the right-back position.
Indeed, Hector Bellerin, Jules Kounde and Ronald Araujo – three players who have been used at right-back this season by the Barça boss – have all been injured over the past week.
There had been concerns about the situation of Sergi Roberto as well, but the 30-year-old seems to have recovered from his Achilles tendon issue and is ready to start when Barcelona face RCD Mallorca this weekend.
But Xavi still needs cover in the right-back position for the trip to Son Moix this Saturday. And according to journalist Albert Roge, the Barcelona first-team manager has picked 19-year-old prospect Marc Casado from the club’s Atletic team to travel to Mallorca.
Xavi had several options on his table, such as Alvaro Nunez of Barça Atletic and Eric Garcia, who had played at right-back in the last season on an occasion. Alvaro Sanz’s name had also been thrown into the mix by reserve team manager Rafa Marquez.
There was also the possibility of him using a left-back like Marcos Alonso or Alejandro Balde as a makeshift right-back.
However, he has opted to choose Casado, having called the La Masia ace to first-team training today. The teenager is a midfielder by trade and primarily plays in the pivot position for Barça Atletic.
But, Xavi had used Casado as a right-back in Barcelona’s first pre-season game of the season this past summer against UE Olot. And it seems like the manager saw enough within the teenager to bet on him again in the absence of his regular choices at right-back.
Casado has been at Barça since 2016. He has played seven times this season and is yet to make his official debut for the first team.
However, that could change in the coming weeks amidst the shortage of right-backs at Xavi’s disposal.