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Xavi talks Frenkie de Jong, Raphinha, Jules Kounde and Vitor Roque ahead of Mallorca

Check out the latest from the Barcelona boss

FC Barcelona v Celta de Vigo - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by David S.Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Xavi has been talking all things Barcelona ahead of Tuesday’s La Liga fixture at Real Mallorca.

It’s a busy time for the Catalans who will head into the match top of the table after Atletico beat Real Madrid on Sunday.

Here are the best bits:

Xavi on Real Mallorca

Mallorca is a difficult team. Their defensive work is great and they have top footballers. It will be complicated.

Xavi on Frenkie de Jong

Frenkie is a sensitive and very important loss for us because of the way we play and the way he has been playing since last season, at an exceptional level. There are many players who can replace Frenkie and we hope we won’t be affected by his absence. We’ll see how he is after the break, but we hope he makes a good recovery and recovers one hundred per cent.

Xavi on Barca being top

We go game by game. We have a very difficult start. First Mallorca and then we will think about Sevilla. The fact that we are leaders means that we are doing things well.

Xavi on playing a low block

Joao, Rafa, Lamine and Robert, have to have more mobility and attack the spaces well. This is how the goals will come. A lot of mobility, changes in position, being in the correct position and in the right structure. We analyzed the Celta game and we were not good, they played a very good game. In attack we have to do more, attack better, be better positioned. We are on the right path despite not playing a good match against Celta.

Xavi on Pedri

Pedri has very good feelings, let’s see how long until we can get him back. It depends on how he feels. He’s going very well. We have alternatives and one of them is Sergi Roberto. He is a formidable wild card for me as a coach, a luxury wild card. Like Fermin, he can help us a lot.

Xavi on Raphinha

Rafa came on and did very well, he reminded me of Ferran when he didn’t play so much. Sensational in his defensive work and then he was important in the second goal. He hasn’t played as much because he was sent off but he will come in and be important, I have no doubt.

Xavi on playing a five-man defense

We must attack better, make the interiors understand that they must attack spaces, not have as much counterattack or transition, play better, fewer touches, high circulation, attack better and defend better, there is no other secret. The first 60 minutes we were not at the level that the game required. It is a wake-up call for the team to improve.

Xavi on Dembele

I haven’t seen PSG’s matches, I have no resentment towards him, I love him the same and I wish him the best, but we have to continue and we have found solutions with Rafa, Lamine or Ferran. Sometimes when a player leaves another player appears, and we are delighted with what we have.

Xavi on Gavi

We know what Gavi is capable of. He is very complete. In defense and in attack he can be brilliant. He is a beast of a footballer, he is soul, heart, passion, he is vital for the team. Let him add passes and goals. I’m happy for him.

Xavi on Gundogan replacing De Jong?

Yes he can play there, like Oriol Romeu or Busquets before, but we believe that his potential is to reach the area and provide goalscoring passes, that is what we want from him and even more so now that we don’t have Pedri. He can adapt to three or four midfield positions.

Xavi on rotation

I already said the other day that there will be an average of two or three rotations per game, because that is what we believe we need to do to have the players at 100% and prevent injuries.

Xavi on Jules Kounde

There are two or three players who have played every game. One is the goalkeeper who we believe has no fatigue and can play all the time. We will make changes because there are players who need it.

Xavi on Vitor Roque

There is a possibility in January. The doctors have spoken and there he will no operation, he will undergo conservative treatment to recover.

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