Chadi Riad looks set to get some first-team chances at Barcelona following Gerard Pique’s decision to retire midway through the 2022-23 season.
The Catalans had thought about dipping into the transfer market for a replacement, but the club’s ongoing financial issues mean they’ve had to look closer to home.
All of which is great news for the 19-year-old, according to Mundo Deportivo, who report Xavi has agreed that Riad is the man he’ll look to in the second half of the season.
The Barcelona coach has been impressed with many of Riad’s qualities, such as his positioning, aggression, attitude and distribution, and is willing to give him a chance.
Xavi’s plan is that Riad will be another option at center-back if needed and if he has to shuffle his defense due to deficiencies elsewhere.
Issues at right-back mean that the Barca boss could use Ronald Araujo or Jules Kounde at full-back, meaning there could be chances in central defense for Riad.
The teenager will surely get chances in the Copa del Rey too in 2023 and will be hoping for more La Liga minutes after making his debut against Osasuna before the World Cup.