Barcelona players sustained injuries during the FIFA international break with two of their main centre defenders out injured – Jules Kounde and Ronald Araujo.

The two defenders are Barcelona’s best pair at the centre back position at the moment the injuries to the pair could force manager Xavi Hernandez to introduce makeshift defenders pending the time the pairs would be back due to lack of options at the centre back position.

Araujo was initially reported to be out for three weeks but the news was worse than expected and could be sidelined for two months putting his participation in the World Cup in huge doubt, with the club’s doctors suggesting an operation to fix his injury his absence from the first team would be lengthy.

For Kounde the French star would be out for three weeks and his return in time for La Liga action is more definite than that of Araujo.

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With the latest development, Xavi could opt for makeshift centre backs to fill up the gap left by the duo, Frenjie de Jong and Marcos Alonso would be given the nod according  to the report in BarcaTimes.

De Jong played in that position under Erik ten Hag at Ajax, under Ronald Koeman for the Netherlands and at Barcelona and Xavi also played the Dutch midfielder in that role during their pre-season tour.

De Jong is not an excellent ball winner, he excels at passing and distributing the ball but Xavi and his team would need him to adapt for the time being.

Alonso was seen as a versatile defender by Barcelona president Joan Laporta and Xavi so drafting him in the centre-back position should not be an issue for the former Chelsea defender, but in fairness, the defender has no real experience in that position but he arrives at the position during games times to cover up for the centre backs temporarily.

Other options could be the pairing of Eric Garcia and Andreas Christensen and also giving Gerard Pique some game time due to limited options.

Xavi needs to get the team ready for October with Barcelona facing the likes of Inter Milan and Real Madrid away, and also have to host Bayern Munich, Villarreal, Athletic Club, and Inter.

 

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