Barcelona face huge injury crisis leading up to PSV clash

MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 24: Luis Suarez of FC Barcelona reacts during the La Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and FC Barcelona at Wanda Metropolitano on November 24, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 24: Luis Suarez of FC Barcelona reacts during the La Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and FC Barcelona at Wanda Metropolitano on November 24, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Barcelona have 7 players on the treatment table right now

Barcelona have never had much of an injury-free squad. But now, the fitness level of the players is strikingly dropping. This is highly alarming, considering that the mid-season point is approaching, and the congestion of fixtures will soon be mounting on the side.

Rafinha’s Barça career is nothing but over after he suffered a cruciate ligament rupture, effectively ruling him out for the rest of the season. This is the 25-year old Brazilian playmaker’s second such injury, and third long-term injury in his career at the Camp Nou.

Sergi Roberto and Luis Suárez, key members of the first-team, are also out of action till late December. Suárez will need to undergo stem cell treatment on his right knee, while Roberto is suffering from a hamstring injury.

Arthur has also suffered an adductor strain, and will miss the trip to PSV Eindhoven, while his future is uncertain at the moment. Backup players Sergi Samper and Jasper Cillessen are also injured. Samper is suffering from a calf injury, while Cillessen has a muscle tear in his right leg.

More from Everything Barca

Now, Ernesto Valverde will have to maximise his use of the depth in his squad. Players like Arturo Vidal, Carles Aleñá and Malcom will be called upon more often, while many players from Barça B will need to be called up to the first-team in the coming weeks.

19-year old right-back Dani Morer is sure to receive a call-up, while Jokin Ezkieta may also get a temporary promotion. Nélson Semedo will get a lot more playing time, and would need a backup. Morer could provide cover for Semedo, despite his inexperience.

In midfield, the absence of Arthur and Rafinha can be easily covered by the depth in the squad. Denis Suárez and Carles Aleñá are sure to get more time on the pitch on the left side of the midfield trio, in place of Arthur. Arturo Vidal could also make more starts.

Of course, Munir will have to take the place of Luis Suárez in the first-team. There is an alternative in moving Messi up to the centre-forward position and using either Ousmane Dembélé or Malcom on the right flank. But it is highly unlikely, considering that Messi hasn’t played there for ages.

Next. Sergi Roberto needs to change position. dark

Sergi Samper and Jasper Cillessen’s absences are unlikely to be felt. But Cillessen could have played in the second leg against Cultural Leonesa. Ernesto Valverde has players to bank upon to cover for the injured players, but it remains to be seen whether they can perform.