‘Unfortunately, that’s how it was planned’: Sergio Busquets bemoans Barcelona’s recruitment strategy and lack of depth which could leave boss Quique Setien with just TWELVE first-team players for Napoli second leg
- Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets hits out at the club’s recruitment strategy
- The Catalan giants are thin on the ground following a number of big injuries
- They could also have just 12 first-team players in the squad for Napoli second leg
- Busquets claims this was the club’s plan all along which has now backfired
Sergio Busquets has questioned Barcelona’s recruitment strategy after a number of serious injuries and suspensions could leave the club very thin on the ground.
The Catalan giants managed to walk away with a positive result against Napoli in the Champions League on Tuesday, after Antoine Griezmann scored a crucial away goal to cancel out Dries Mertens’s stunning opener.
Arturo Vidal was sent off for two quickfire yellow cards in the second half to leave the reigning Spanish champions with potentially just 12 first-team players for the second leg on March 18.
Sergio Busquets has hit out at Barcelona’s recruitment strategy that has left them stretched
Gerard Pique limped off with injury at the end of the game with an ankle injury while Busquets pointed out that he and Nelson Semedo were running the risk of suspension due to being booked earlier in the game.
With Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez facing lengthy spells on the sidelines, boss Quique Setien was forced to call up four youth players for the trip to the San Paolo to make up the numbers.
However, despite there being just 19 senior players in the squad, Busquets claims that this was the club’s plan all along.
Gerard Pique picked up an ankle injury late on in the game against Napoli on Tuesday
‘Semedo and I were one booking away from a ban so we were always running that risk [of suspension],’ the midfielder said after the 1-1 draw against Napoli, as quoted by ESPN.
‘We hope Pique’s injury is nothing serious but we will take on the second leg with what we have. We don’t have a deep squad because, unfortunately, that’s how it was planned.’
Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic echoed Busquets’ sentiments, stating: ‘We have a short squad but those that are in charge knew that.
Arturo Vidal was also sent off which could leave Barcelona stretched for the second leg
PLAYERS AVAILABLE FOR NAPOLI 2ND LEG
- Marc-Andre ter Stegen
- Junior Firpo
- Nelson Semedo
- Gerard Pique
- Clement Lenglet
- Samuel Umtiti
- Ivan Rakitic
- Frenkie de Jong
- Antoine Griezmann
- Lionel Messi
PLAYERS NOT UNAVAILABLE
- Jordi Alba (injured)
- Sergi Roberto (injured)
- Sergio Busquets (suspended)
- Arturo Vidal (suspended)
- Ousmane Dembele (injured)
- Martin Braithwaite (unregistered)
- Luis Suarez (injured)
‘The solution is what it is. Those that are available will have to work really hard because we have an important match in the second leg.’
Barcelona will have to put their return leg with Napoli to their back of their mind for the time being as they gear up for their second Clasico of the season.
Real Madrid welcome their fierce rivals to the Bernabeu on Sunday in what could be a potential title decider.
Share this article
Source: Read Full Article