Barcelona are sitting pretty at the top of the La Liga table with a five-point lead over Real Madrid, but there are clouds on the horizon at Camp Nou.
Ousmane Dembele had done a good job of sustaining the Barcelona attack in the absence of the suspended Robert Lewandowski, but is set to be out for five weeks after picking up a muscle tear against Girona. He will likely miss at least the first tie against Manchester United in the Europa League.
It means that the focus will shift to Raphinha. The Brazilian, who cost Barcelona €58m, lasted until October as a starter for Xavi Hernandez, but has been a rotational option since. Despite his commitment and work-rate, it has become clear that he is not first choice, with Dembele earning his preferred right-side ahead of him.
So far in 27 appearances, he has four goals and seven assists, 15 of which were starts. Originally he was being alternated between the left and the right side, but Xavi admitted that the Brazilian had asked to be considered only on the right.
It has only been half a season, but Brazilian correspondent Joaquim Piera says that this is do or die for Raphinha. Having already been put on alert by the club for his performances, Raphinha now has the second half of the season, in particular the month without Dembele, to prove he belongs at Camp Nou. Should he fail to produce, he will be put on the market in the summer.
Already, Arsenal had enquired about his availability this January and he will likely have suitors again in the summer. With Barcelona struggling to meet La Liga’s salary restrictions, it would be no surprise if they were to consider sales in the summer.
However it is xavi should buy another striker that will be the backup of robert lewandoski because barca are always depending on osemanu dembele and lewandoski which x unfair
Raphina,ansu fati and ferran torres have all given barcelona very little or next to nothing so far this season and all of them need to step up in these next couple of weeks in the absence of dembele,in all of their defence they have not been starters but this has also been largely down to their own poor form and also the fantastic form of dembele,as i said with dembele injured now and out of the team there will be no excuses for all three and if all three fail to step up or produce again then i think barca will seriously consider bringing in yannick Carrasco and bring back abde from his osasuna loan to replace them all next season,both Carrasco and abde are pacey and love to take on and beat their man something which raphina,ansu fati and ferran torres are all not doing or cant anymore this season.
I do agree with you to an extent on our over reliance on Robert Lewandowski,but to be fair pedri and dembele both stepped up and scored the goals when needed more than i can say of the other three I was talking about earlier on,while we continue to have Ronald,kounde,christensen,balde and alba in defence we will remain solid in defence and be able to see games out without playing particularly well and if I’m being totally honest our defence has been carrying raphina,ansu fati and ferran torres so far this season for their lack of input to the team and don’t always get the credit they deserve like what the attackers always do,the defence has been outstanding so far this season.
Add to that the giant of a player that we are blessed with in gavi who basically plays every position on the pitch in our team without fuss or complaints and always gives 110% every match is getting us over the line just so far to cover for the misfiring front three we talked about earlier.
Regarding Lewandowski cover,although i don’t think depay was a good enough out and out striker to his credit he came in when we we needed him and did a decent job until he got injured and i don’t blame him at all for wanting to leave and get more minutes and wish him all the very best in his future just not against us lol which leads to my point that again it looks like we are shooting ourselves in the foot and haven’t learned our lessons from previous years i.e Suarez winning the league with Atletico right after we sell him to them lmao,basically we shouldn’t haven’t sold depay to Atletico or sold abama either and now with dembele injured and our 3 misfiring underperforming front players 2 of which i might add cost us millions of pounds to bring in with raphina and ferran,now I’m not saying Atletico are going to win the league for sure or anything my point is we are weakening ourselves and strengthening our rivals by selling players in positions we are not strong in at the moment with raphina,ansu and ferran torres all underperforming so far
I hope that all 3 raphina ansu and ferran now that they have to start and play in the team more often step up and make me eat my words then I’ll be delighted to come on here and say i was wrong but somehow i have my doubts we will see.