Quique Setién was left with 18 players after the winter market closed. After the exit of four players (Aleñá, Todibo, Carles Pérez and Wague) he was not reinforced by any signings. And of the 18 players in the first team, one of them is Luis Suarez, who still has 3.5 months of recovery to go. Technically he has 17 players but B teamer Ansu Fati is effectively a member of the squad.
In these circumstances, Setién has been forced to resort to the B team and it is increasingly common to see players from the lower age groups with the first team. Today 10 players from B and four from Juvenil A participated.
Iñaki Peña, Sergi Puig, O. Mingueza, J. Cuenca, Monchu, Matheus Pereira, Riqui Puig, Collado, Rey Manaj and Ansu Fati of Barça B and Mika, Antonio Jesús, Konrad and Nils of Juvenil A were chosen.
The club also added three players Kike Saverio (38), Sergio Akieme (39) and King Manaj (41), to their UCL squad.
To these we must add Abe (37), Araujo (33) and Sarsanedas (34), who were already registered. The six have had to be registered in list A since they do not meet the requirements of the B list: players who have been playing at the club for at least three years and under 21 years of age.
Ousmane Dembele's relapse and injuries to Neto and Arturo Vidal complicate Setién's plans. The coach hopes to recover the Chilean for the Copa game this Thursday at San Mamés.
For the next league match, against Betis at the Villamarín, Gerard Piqué is sanctioned after seeing his 10th yellow against Levante.
Quique Setién is looking for imaginative formulas to try to alleviate the casualties in the attacking line. And he is not only having difficulty finding them in the first team squad, but also in the B team that Abel Ruiz, Carles Pérez and Alejandro Marqués have left.
At the moment, he is turning to Alex Collado, a player accustomed to playing inside, but who can also perform in wider areas as a false winger. This has happened in the time of Garcia Pimienta, where on numerous occasions he has been an option for the frontline.
The youth player debuted with the first team last season at the hands of Valverde. It happened on May 4, 2019 in Celta v Barça. And Setién has included him in the last call-ups, although he has only played a few minutes at Mestalla against Valencia in a league game for the new coach.
Collado, only 20 years old, likes Setién, who, given Dembélé's relapse, could give him more minutes. For the meeting this Thursday at San Mamés the coach only has three pure strikers: Messi, Griezmann and Ansu.