The recent Joan Gamper Trophy match only amplified the spotlight on Barcelona’s right-back position. The Catalans have been paying attention to the void for a while now, but with the league starting this weekend, they do not have much time.
Reports yesterday stated that Barcelona director Deco saw Real Valladolid’s Ivan Fresneda as the priority option. The teenager has been on the Catalans’ wishlist for a long time now, but his name has not generated consensus within the club.
Now, according to reports from Mundo Deportivo, Fresneda is currently not an option for Barcelona. Xavi Hernandez prefers a more experienced right-back and is not a fan of the Spaniard’s incorporation.
Xavi wishes to tread a path of no risk
Barcelona have never got going in the right-back department since Dani Alves left the club. Several big names including Nelson Semedo, Sergino Dest, and Sergi Roberto have tried to make the position their own only to see failure.
Barcelona’s latest experiment to sign a young right-back with a high ceiling did not go well, with Dest completely out of Xavi’s plans. In fact, the USMNT star is now a liability with no European club interested to sign him.
The manager’s hesitation, perhaps, is a result of the bittersweet history of Barcelona’s right-back position. Fresneda is one of Spain’s most promising young talents. However, he currently lacks the experience to jump into a club of Barcelona’s stature according to the manager.
Pablo Maffeo the solution?
Manchester City star Joao Cancelo was Xavi’s top priority this summer at right-back. However, the Portuguese international is seen as a difficult option for Barcelona in light of the unbridgeable difference in the valuation of the player between the two clubs. Pablo Maffeo has thus emerged as a leading candidate in recent days.
The 26-year-old Mallorca right-back provides a good balance of youth and experience and could be the solution Xavi demands, while being affordable financially.