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A Fan's Perspective: The Final Problem

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Some thoughts on the right-back situation at Barça.

West Ham United v Juventus - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Dani Alves started his club career at Esporte Clube Bahia Brazil and moved to Sevilla at the tender age of 17. He played a huge role in Sevilla's resurgence in Spain and Europe, managing to help them win as many as 5 trophies, in a span of 15 months. While the team's performances dipped in 2006/07 and 2007/08, Alves continued to perform at the highest level, drawing comparisons with the legendary Cafu. A bonafide star in the making, he was also a fan-favourite, with his eccentric personality. Despite the player's desire to move, Sevilla blocked his transfer to Chelsea in the summer of 2007, forcing him to stay put; an year later, he would be the first signing of the "Pep Era".

Alves struggled to adapt to Pep's Barça initially, having to learn a new system and not being given the same free role as he did back at Sevilla, which meant that he had to explain himself multiple times to the press during his first few months as a Blaugrana. His spell of poor performances, however, would soon wane and as we all know today, Alves went on to become the best right-back in the history of our club.

As age caught up with Alves and his performance started to dwindle, the club made a move for a player from Alves' former club, to replace him; Aleix Vidal came onto Barça's radar, after playing as a right-back during the tail-end of the '14/15 season and as the transfer ban loomed over Barça, a deal was signed. Vidal would sit out for 6 months, due to the clubs inability to register players, but his arrival brought optimism to the future of the right-back slot. After 8 years at the club, Alves decided to test himself elsewhere, opting to move to Juventus, on a free transfer, leaving Aleix Vidal as the only viable option at right-back moving into the new season, with the versatile Sergi Roberto offering him competition.

Despite having made all his appearances at right-back during the preseason, Vidal continues to look shaky in defence, which has brought much concern to the fan-base; his defensive positioning and tackling leave much to be desired for Culés, who have been spoilt from the show put on, by his predecessor.

As Vidal and Roberto try their luck at the RB slot, it would be unfair to the pair, to be compared to arguably the greatest attacking fullback of this generation. Alves leaves a huge hole in the Barça XI, and no matter who starts the upcoming season in his place, they'll know, that the bar has been set too high.

When the best fullback in the history of the club departs. #fcbarcelona #barca

A photo posted by Navjot Kasukurthy (@navjot4664) on