Tactical Insights

Barcelona defensive mainstay absent from training today

Xavi’s decision to field Inigo Martinez alongside Pau Cubarsi in central defence against Real Sociedad was not a move many saw coming. After all, Ronald Araujo is the manager’s go-to name in defence and the Uruguayan was benched on the night.

As Xavi revealed after the game, however, Araujo has a slight niggle which prompted the manager to give him a day off ahead of a hectic week.

“He had a small unimportant discomfort and I have preferred to reserve it,” he said.

Objective Almeria

According to reports from Mundo Deportivo, Araujo did not train with the team this morning in the recovery session after last night’s clash.

His fitness setback is nothing major as things stand, and the management is only treading the road of caution so as to avoid an unforeseen aggravation.

Barcelona being cautious with Araujo. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Xavi plans to recover the star defender in time to face Almeria later this week at the Estadio del Mediterraneo. Needless to say, Araujo could even return to his starting role alongside Cubarsi on the night.

On the exit ramp?

While the Uruguayan superstar has established himself as a mainstay in Xavi’s plans, a lot has been said about his place in the team for next season.

Barcelona are in dire need of big sales come June, and Araujo, who has a massive market value, stands out as a candidate who can be sacrificed for the greater good.

As revealed earlier this week, the Catalans believe that a €100 million sum which the club could recoup from his sale will help finance the arrival of an important player next season.

Bayern Munich and Manchester United are some of the clubs interested in his signing, and it will be interesting to see how Barcelona approach the defender’s future come June.

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