Xavi's message for Barça striker Memphis: This is a meritocracy

The Dutchman will have to earn his place as the competition for places kicks in

| sport

With the return of several key players, Xavi has more and more bodies to pick from. Especially in attack, where he now has Ousmane Dembélé, Memphis Depay, Ansu Fati, Luuk de Jong, Ferran Torres, Ferran Jutglà and Abde to fill three places in Wednesday's Clasico against Real Madrid in the semifinal of the Spanish Supercopa.

With Ansu and Ferran only just coming back from injuries, Memphis is one of the attackers likely to fill the three spots after returning from an injury of his own against Granada at the weekend, but Xavi left some doubts about that in his press conference on Tuesday.

Asked about the importance of Dutch forward Memphis in the team, he pointed out that all the other attackers in the squad are just as important.

"He's as important as the rest," Xavi said. "At the end of the day, (the team is picked) on merit. There's a lot of competition. Luckily, we have a squad with a lot of the first team available now and the competition starts for everyone."

The coach insisted that there is no hierarchy in that sense: "It's a meritocracy and those that earn it will play. That's how it's always been for me. The best player will play regardless of their name. That way things will go well."




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