Young Barcelona midfielder Sergi Roberto was one of the stars of the team's preseason tour in the United States. The 23-year-old had more minutes than any other Blaugrana in the three friendlies so far, and he showed versatility by playing at midfield, his original spot, and as right-back, impressing in both positions.
With the injury to Douglas Pereira, Roberto becomes a viable option to serve as a backup to Dani Alves, since new signing Aleix Vidal can only play in January. Also, with the departure of Xavi Hernández and the debut of Arda Turan also scheduled only for the start of 2016, there is a giant window of opportunity for the young Spaniard to take advantage and truly evolve into the star that many think he could be.
Roberto attended a press conference before the trip to Italy for the friendly against Fiorentina, and he made it clear he's eager to get more playing time, and he hopes he did enough to prove that coach Luis Enrique can trust him and use him in many places next season.
"This is my third season with the first team and my second under Luis Enrique. I would like to have played more last season but now I can play in more positions and that gives me more options. I’m looking forward to it … I had never played at full back before, but to be honest, I quite like the poisition. All I want to do is play games and help the team, in whatever position I have to."
"I had a talk with the boss at the start of the preseason. And he told me that he had confidence in me. And without Xavi and with the option of playing at full back, I think that should mean more chances for me this season."
"We are all back now apart from Claudio Bravo. That’s good. The last ones to come back are in fine form and eager to get started … I hope we can win all six trophies this year. That would be some achievement. We are excited about the new season and just as optimistic as we were last year."