Barcelona have continued to struggle to find a long-term solution at right-back since Dani Alves, and it’s still reportedly leading to further disagreements.
The Brazilian ace left in 2016, and while Nelson Semedo has since been signed, he hasn’t been able to solidify his place in the line-up this year which has led to Sergi Roberto continuing to fill in in what is an unnatural position for him.
To his credit, the versatile Spaniard is doing a solid job there for the Catalan giants, so much so it’s claimed by Don Balon, as re-reported by The Express, that he has the support of Lionel Messi to stay in the line-up as he has been impressed with his impact in that role.
The problem stems from the fact that it’s reported that Gerard Pique doesn’t agree, and wants to see promising youngster Alvaro Odriozola arrive from Real Sociedad.
The 22-year-old has made 35 appearances so far this season as he has come through the youth ranks at the club and is starting to firmly establish himself in the thinking of both his club and national team coaches.
In Pique’s defence, he makes a good argument, if the report is accurate. Odriozola fits the mould from a style of play point of view, but importantly he’s a natural right-back who can also play as a winger.
While it’s very useful that Barcelona have players like Roberto to fill in and perform well, as with any area on the pitch, they will surely benefit from having individuals playing in their best positions to be most effective.
As far as Messi’s reported viewpoint is concerned, he has a valid case too and it could be a big blow for Roberto if a signing is made, as he’ll have plenty of competition for places to contend with if he reverts back to being considered a midfielder by Ernesto Valverde moving forward.