Xavi Hernandez addresses Robert Lewandowski and Vitor Roque game time, gives Lamine Yamal area to improve

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has told the press that handling starlet Lamine Yamal can be ‘difficult’ at a tactical. The 16-year-old scored the opener and ultimately the winner for Barcelona against Real Sociedad, but the lack of game time for Vitor Roque was once again the main talking point.

Lamine Yamal was reason for cheers though, as he produced three or four moments of magic again. Xavi was asked what he can improve.

“At a tactical level it is difficult. He disconnects. The thing is, he should be in the under-17s. But then he is a chosen one. That he makes the difference as a 16-year-old already tells you what a player he is. The growth in one year is unbelievable. He is stronger, faster. He is a player for the present and the future.”

Robert Lewandowski was subbed off with around 15 minutes to go, and did not look entirely delighted by the decision. The Polish striker has been withdrawn on a number of occasions in the last few games, but Xavi Hernandez pointed to the midweek round and the need for fresh legs.

“Because it is a week of three games and because of the tactical issue. We needed to push up again and we needed more strength with Fermín and Ferran. More legs. We have made a great effort and Robert has made a great effort. I understand the anger, I didn’t like being changed either, but we coaches have to think about the whole.”

Meanwhile the major talking point at Can Barca currently is Roque, who did not come on for Lewandowski, but instead warmed the bench again.

“We will make the decisions at the end of the season and internally. Today he was struggling with an ankle problem and it was a miracle he was in the squad, but he could hardly even warm up.”

“There is competition at Barca. As a coach, I understand that there are players in better conditions to participate and nothing more. He is young, competing with great players.”

That assessment has been denied by various outlets. Barcelona Sporting Director Deco has also expressed frustration at the constant leaks at the club about the future of Roque, but few are denying that he may leave at the end of the season. It looks as though they may be

looking for a new forward just six months on from spending €30m on Roque.

Tags Barcelona Lamine Yamal Robert Lewandowski Vitor Roque Xavi Hernandez
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