Barcelona will be missing Frenkie de Jong for several weeks owing to an ankle injury, with some predicting he may not return until November.
Xavi has already expressed regret for the Dutchman’s absence and stated that it is a major setback for his squad.
“It’s a significant loss.” It’s a difficult one because of how we play and the level he’s been at. He’s an important player for us, and he’s been excellent since last season,” he told reporters.
“We have options to bring him in, so hopefully we won’t have to suffer too much.” We’ll see how he feels after the international break in October. That’s all we can say for the time being.”
And it certainly is a big loss. The stats show that De Jong has only missed 16 games through injury in four seasons at Barcelona, according to Sport.
Perhaps more worrying is the fact that Barcelona have won just six of 16 games when De Jong has been sidelined through injury and have lost seven.
The goal difference during those matches doesn’t look great either. Barcelona have scored just 18 but have let in 13 when De Jong’s not around.
On the plus side you have to hope that things will be a lot different this time around. Xavi does have plenty of other options in his team when De Jong is out.
Ilkay Gundogan, Gavi, Oriol Romeu, Fermin Lopez and Sergi Roberto are all fit and available to Xavi who will need to tweak his team now De Jong is out.
How do you think Xavi should replace De Jong in his starting XI? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!