Barcelona saw their unbeaten run in La Liga come to a crashing halt at the weekend against Levante, and Guillem Balague has been critical of them.
The Catalan giants were edging ever closer to history, but they fell to defeat to Levante in the penultimate game of the campaign to see it go up in flames.
Although they’ve already secured the La Liga title and Copa del Rey, that defeat coupled with the way in which they crashed out of the Champions League to Roma will undoubtedly lead to criticism and question marks over what Ernesto Valverde needs to do to improve them next season.
Balague has singled out January signing Yerry Mina for criticism on this occasion, as he simply believes that the Colombian defender isn’t ready to be a starter for Barcelona and must go out on a loan spell to gain experience and adjust his game to the European style having arrived from South America just months ago.
“In that back four, Yerry Mina was bad, very bad, and this was confirmation that he needs to go out on loan,” Balague told Sky Sports. “He not only uses one of the non-European places, but also he hasn’t shown enough quality to be part of Barcelona’s side just yet.”
Further, despite scoring a hat-trick at the weekend, Philippe Coutinho also drew some criticism from the Sky Sports pundit, as Balague believes that beyond the impressive statistics, the Brazilian international still has work to do to cement his place in the side and be a fundamental figure.
“He has nine goals and six assists since joining in January. So, in the five months he has been at Barca, the statistics would suggest he has had an extraordinary start, though his performances suggest he still has much room to improve.”
Particularly with Andres Iniesta set to move on at the end of the season, more will be expected of Coutinho moving forward. However, whether he can adjust his game to play that exact role remains to be seen, as although he’s a quality attacking threat, Iniesta played a vital role in offering balance to the side with his defensive work too and he must learn to do the same.