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Opinion: Barcelona youngster could solve a long term need after a promising display vs Mallorca

While Barcelona will be most worried about who could possibly replace Lionel Messi after he stops playing, there should also be concern about a long term successor for Gerard Pique.

For years they have been blessed with having Carles Puyol and/or Pique in the defence, but it could become a real problem soon.

Pique is 33 and can’t have long to go at the top level, while the other senior players haven’t inspired a lot of confidence.

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Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet have both been fine but they haven’t done enough to show they can be the long term solution, with Jean-Clair Todibo has promise but he also looks very raw.

Ronaldo Araujo played in the decisive win over Mallorca last night, and Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo were quick to praise him.

They suggest that he’s gaining the confidence of the coach and although he was well shielded by those around him, there was a lot to like about his performance.

They point out he completed 98 of his 104 passing attempts, while he was also solid in defence – something that Barca have been crying out for .

They don’t need somebody who’s overly flashy, but having a defender who can look after the ball and is solid when the other team attacks is priceless, and it could be something for them to build around.

Of course they will need to see how he fares against better opposition, but he looked composed and if he keeps playing like this then he could provide a solution to their long-term defensive issues.

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