The Catalan centre-back has taken a step back this season
Xavi Hernandez has five top-level centre-backs: Ronald Araujo, Eric Garcia, newcomers Andreas Christensen and Jules Koundé, as well as Gerard Piqué.
The latter is experiencing an atypical season and is no longer an indispensable player. In fact, in the charity match against Manchester City, he made his first start in nine games so far.
Xavi told a press conference that he spoke to him before the holidays and "was very clear". The coach explained to him that the team "was going to be reinforced, that there would be a lot of competition and that it would not be easy".
Xavi floated that "he can help us in another role", but "it will depend on the coaches, his feelings and mine, how he competes when he has opportunities...".
He also recalled that the season has just started and that there is "internal competition in all positions". It is a rather blessed problem for the Blaugrana coach, but the role of the second captain of the first team has declined from essential leader to residual and anecdotal.
It is indeed too early to conclude, as Xavi explained, but a transformation of role for the Catalan centre-back is nevertheless indicative.
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