Barcelona look set to be without Frenkie de Jong for several weeks due to an ankle injury, with some estimates suggesting he won’t return until November.
Xavi has already lamented the Dutchman’s absence and made it clear it’s a big blow for his team.
“It’s a big loss. It’s a tough one because of the way we play and the level he has been at. He’s a key player for us, he has been really good since last season,” he told reporters.
“We have options to come in for him, so hopefully we won’t suffer too much. We will see how he is after the [October] international break. That’s all we can say for now.”
And it certainly is a big loss. The stats show that De Jong has only missed 16 games through injury in four seasons at Barcelona, according to Sport.
Perhaps more worrying is the fact that Barcelona have won just six of 16 games when De Jong has been sidelined through injury and have lost seven.
The goal difference during those matches doesn’t look great either. Barcelona have scored just 18 but have let in 13 when De Jong’s not around.
On the plus side you have to hope that things will be a lot different this time around. Xavi does have plenty of other options in his team when De Jong is out.
Ilkay Gundogan, Gavi, Oriol Romeu, Fermin Lopez and Sergi Roberto are all fit and available to Xavi who will need to tweak his team now De Jong is out.
How do you think Xavi should replace De Jong in his starting XI? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!