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Is it time for Xavi to drop Robert Lewandowski at Barcelona?

Still scoring...

FC Barcelona v UD Almeria - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by Cristian Trujillo/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Xavi has recently admitted to a half-time dressing room broadside fired in Robert Lewandowski’s direction, no doubt echoing the frustrations of all culers at a perceived lack of form from the Poland international.

It isn’t necessarily the issue of goals, however.

He still has eight of them and three assists in 16 La Liga games of which two appearances were as a substitute.

A one-in-two ratio is pretty much as good as it gets unless you’re Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, and at 35 years of age too, there’s no getting away from the fact that it’s a decent goalscoring return from the Polish striker.

So why the rancour with the striker?

Could it be down to the amount paid for his services - not his fault of course - which has authored the narrative and expectation levels?

FC Barcelona v UD Almeria - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by Cristian Trujillo/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Perhaps it’s down to a diminishing amount of movement in and around the box, making him a target that’s harder to find. There’s even an argument that remaining more static makes him an easier target man but that’s a moot point.

His inability to control the ball at this point is nothing short of embarrassing for someone of his supposed level, and his effort has been called into question, but maybe the failures of the team as a whole is easier to pin on him.

One certainly can’t level the accusation at him that he’s come to Barca just for a big pay day. That is a consequence of his move of course, but it’s hard to argue that he hasn’t earned his euros.

Those culers expecting Vitor Roque to come parachuting in at Lewy’s expense and hit the ground running in a much tougher league than he’s been used to too are going to be disappointed.

Estudiantes v Athletico Paranaense - Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2022 Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images

The Brazilian may well be the future of the club in an attacking sense, but it’s to players like Robert Lewandowski that he will initially look up to during his first few months.

Lewy’s experience will be invaluable to a player who’ll need to be aware of a steep learning curve, and we may find that they work brilliantly as a pair rather than one replacing the other.

Frankly, for the job he is handsomely remunerated for - putting the ball in the back of the net - he can’t be questioned on his current record.

Arguably, he’s being measured against his Bayern Munich goals return, in much the same way as culers routinely expect new coaches to be the next Guardiola and squads to be capable of winning the Champions League. It’s just not realistic at this point.

Should he be dropped though?

To give him a kick up the backside in terms of bringing his work-rate up to scratch possibly, but that’d be the only logical reason.

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