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The Answer for Paco Alcácer: Lionel Messi?

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Alcácer has struggled all season. Maybe he needs more Messi.

Real Sporting de Gijon v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Paco Alcácer had a shocking outing as a starter for FC Barcelona’s 0-0 draw with Málaga. It’s not just that he didn’t score, yet again, it’s that yet again, he looked lost. He rarely touched the ball and didn’t make the kind of runs that made teammates find him. Arguably, Gerard Piqué was a more effective centerforward than him when the big man left his spot in defense to play upfront.

While there’s no doubt that Alcácer has a lot to answer for given this performance, as well as the whole season so far, there is one excuse that he can legitimately point to.

Alcácer has not played much at all with Lionel Messi. In nine games, Alcácer has only played alongside the Argentine star for 81 minutes, sprinkled in a few different games.

Now, it’s true that Alcácer should be good enough not to rely on any one player to help him get to the correct level, but perhaps what he needs is an outing alongside the best in the world to get him back in form.

Messi attracts double, triple, quadruple and quintuple coverage and is a master assist maker. This is exactly what Alcácer could use given his horrid run of form.

Of course, it’s far from a cure-all. Unless Alcácer gets his stuff in order, he’s never going to dig himself out of the hole. His inability to figure out his role in the system this far into the season is worrying, to say the least.