Barcelona lose defender ahead of crucial week

Ronald Araujo of FC Barcelona. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Ronald Araujo of FC Barcelona. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images) /

Barcelona cannot seem to catch a break when it comes to injuries as the club has confirmed Ronald Araújo has suffered an injury while on international duty with Uruguay.

The club released a statement where they state that the center-back injured his right hamstring and will return to Barcelona where the team doctors will further assess his injury.

Just when it started to look like the side was getting healthy, with the impending returns of Sergio Agüero and Ousmane Dembélé, Ronald Koeman now loses arguably his best defender.

Barcelona will likely be without Araújo for the next three matches

An injury never comes at a good time and for Barcelona, it could not have come at a worse one. According to Diario AS, Araújo is likely to be out for approximately 15 days.

What this means is he is not only going to miss the games against Valencia and Dynamo Kyiv, he is more than likely going to miss the clash against Real Madrid. Those are three key matches that could decide Barcelona’s season as well as the future of Koeman.

The Catalans are already a mess defensively and the performances of Araújo was one of the few things going right at the moment.

Another concerning sign is this isn’t the first time Araújo has picked an injury. In his short stint with the senior team, staying healthy has been a problem. His absence is going to be heavily felt as he has become a crucial player for the Dutchman.

Against Valencia and Dynamo Kyiv, Koeman is going to have to experiment with his backline. He has Oscar Mingueza, Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti at his disposal. Eric Garcia is an option for the league game but not in the Champions League as he was shown a red in the loss to Benfica.

Looking at his options, Mingueza and Pique stand out simply because he’s not used Lenglet much this season and has no trust in Umtiti. Sergiño Dest should be good to go after a bit of a scare with the U.S. and so should Jordi Alba.

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The 22-year-old has become an anchor in a wobbly Barcelona defense. He’s often had to clean up the mess and won’t be available for Barcelona’s tough run of fixtures. For their sake, Koeman used the international break to shore things up defensively.