Just two matchweeks into the new season and Barcelona have been rocked with two important injuries, with Ronald Araujo and Pedri out on the sidelines.
Araujo sustained the injury after the game against Getafe and missed the Cadiz clash this past weekend. The 24-year-old is expected to be back after the international break next month.
As for Pedri, the midfield prodigy suffered from a thigh injury earlier today that will sideline him for more than a month.
Reports suggest that the 20-year-old could be out of action until the international break in October, which would mean that he will miss a number of matches for Barcelona.
As such, there has been talk of Barça considering a move for Giovani Lo Celso to reinforce the midfield, but given the Financial Fair Play situation, a late transfer appears unlikely.
And, thus, Xavi could be forced to look at internal solutions to cope with the absence of Pedri over the next month or so.
Xavi’s options in midfield
Didac Peyret of SPORT is reporting that the first and the most obvious choice for Xavi to replace Pedri from within the Barcelona squad would be Ilkay Gundogan.
The German international has started both of Barça’s league games this term since arriving from Manchester City and appears the best-suited option to assume the creative mantle in the team.
Gavi would come into the starting XI to operate as a pseudo-winger in case Xavi persists with four central midfielders. If not, Gundogan would start alongside Frenkie de Jong and Oriol Romeu in a three-man midfield unit, behind a frontline with three natural attackers.
The second option that Xavi could turn to from within the Barça setup is Fermin Lopez. The 20-year-old academy graduate already showed in pre-season that he can act as cover for Pedri and has remained in the first-team dynamics without making his debut yet.
That could, however, change in the coming weeks owing to Pedri’s injury.
Meanwhile, Sergi Roberto could be another player that Xavi might look at to replace Pedri, with the captain having filled in for the 20-year-old prodigy last season as well.
Xavi could also dip into the Barça Atletic squad for options, with Aleix Garrido being a player whom the manager can turn to. 16-year-old Noah Darvich trained with the first-team setup today and is a player that seems to have caught the manager’s eye.