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Barcelona have another Ronald to be proud of

Araujo was excellent against Girona

FC Barcelona v Girona - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Urbanandsport/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Over the last few weeks, all of the talk has been about one Ronald in particular.

The Dutchman’s presence and strength of character has had us chewing over the relative merits of the ‘Koeman era.’

However, there’s another Ronald that should be walking tall about the place after Señor Araujo put in a masterful defensive performance against Girona.

At 21 years of age, Araujo is at the very start of his career in the top flight, but there was enough in his play to suggest that he is worthy of a first-team squad place at the very least.

His motivation must be to displace any one from three of the remaining centre-backs; Pique, Lenglet and Umtiti.

FC Barcelona v Girona - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

One area where he can clearly be seen to be metaphorically head and shoulders above his contemporaries is his pace.

On more than one occasion against Girona his speed got us out of trouble, and even a foray deep into opposition territory saw him put on the after burners in order to get to the ball first.

A threat from set-pieces too, he’s therefore a functional component for the team at both ends of the pitch.

However, it’s for his primary job of defending that we should be raising our caps to this morning.

Composure in possession and whilst under pressure seems to be an area that is often overlooked when assessing a defender’s suitability.

It’s perhaps that one area that elevates some exponents above the level of mere mortals.

Deportivo Alaves v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Finding time and space on the ball where there appears to be none, bringing out the ball from defence with distribution skills par excellence... such skills are afforded to very few centre-backs, but we can see already that Araujo possesses the same.

Of course, the reality check is that we are still in pre-season and the acid test comes when and if he is given the chance to challenge himself against the big boys.

With Pique getting no younger and Umtiti just about ready for the knacker’s yard, that opportunity really needs to be afforded him this season.

It will be fascinating to watch him grow and see just how well he can progress under his namesake, but lest we forget it’s not even been a year since he made his debut under Ernesto Valverde.

For now, it’s just about honing his craft, and doing so with the fullest support from culers.

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