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Is Yerry Mina Ready to Start Crucial Matches for FC Barcelona?

And if not... did Barça make a mistake letting Mascherano go?

New Barcelona Signing Yerry Mina Unveiled Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

With Gerard Piqué and Thomas Vermalen injured, there are big questions for the upcoming Copa del Rey semifinal against Valencia and the weekend match vs. Getafe.

Samuel Umtiti should be available for the Valencia match, but he is suspended against Getafe.

Unless Piqué rushes back to play either game, that leaves one, then two, central defender spots open in the XI for the next two matches.

Naturally, the other fit centerback - Yerry Mina - should play. But he has yet to make his debut for the team after being signed in the winter to replace the departing Javier Mascherano.

Is he ready to step in and play a cup semifinal? A league match? Or even the UEFA Champions League games against Chelsea?

FC Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has a few other options. There’s David Costas from Barcelona B. He could also move Lucas Digne or Sergio Busquets, or someone else, into the spot.

Making your debut in a cup semifinal away against Valencia would be a tough challenge for the Colombian. So maybe for that reason he won’t play that match. But what excuse could be given for him not playing against Getafe in the league, where Barça still have a nine-point lead over Atlético Madrid, and where Umtiti will not be available?

We will see how or even if Mina plays, but if I was in Ernesto Valverde’s shoes, I’d be worried about the centerback situation.

Selling Javier Mascherano in the winter was a way of thanking him for his service at the club, by allowing him a move to a team that promised him more playing time.

But in the short term, wouldn’t Mascherano be more useful than Mina? Would we even be wondering if Mascherano would play against Valencia? Of course Mina has a lot of potential, but in the short term, can he be trusted in such a precarious match?

The only other backup defender is Vermaelen, who despite a rich vein of form, is still a guy who struggles very often with fitness. His injuries are sadly, a foreseeable trend, not a surprise.

Should Barcelona have sprung on someone like Iñigo Martínez, who went from Real Sociedad to Athletic Bilbao this winter, and who was heavily linked with a move to the Camp Nou?

We will see, but in the short term the situation is causing a headache.

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