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Ernesto Valverde talks Coutinho, Dembele, Malcom and Arthur ahead of Girona

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The boss has faced the press

Real Sociedad v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Ernesto Valverde undertook his pre-match press conference on Saturday ahead of Barcelona’s home game with Girona at Camp Nou.

The Barca boss is expecting a tough game against Girona and also spoke about a number of his players including Philippe Coutinho, Arthur and Malcom.

He really wasn’t too keen on discussing the prospect of playing Girona in Miami next year. But here are the best bits from his presser.

Valverde on Girona

Tomorrow Girona will play without complexes, with the idea of wanting to win here, I expect an intense match. Eusebio is the kind of coach who likes to take games on. He does not like to sit back, he likes his teams to go for it

Valverde on rotation

Yes that is something you’re going to see this season. We do have a lot of games back to back. We have three in six days. We’ve had a bit of a rest, but yes there are huge demands with the fixtures coming. As for rotations and the bench, you will find out tomorrow.

Valverde on Coutinho

He’s a player that can really tip the balance of the game. He’s very suited to playing on the left, but there are other positions he can play too. He played on the right last season and did well there too. We like to make the most of his attacking and his defensive merits.

Valverde on playing Girona in Miami

What do you want me to say? We have a game against Girona tomorrow but everyone is talking about a game that won’t be played for another three or four months. Let’s focus on tomorrow’s game. I’m very surprised by just how much talk there is about the potential game in America. I’m sure we’ll have three of four more months of it. As for percentages, I have no idea.

Valverde on Arthur

He had a problem, a fitness issue, that’s why he didn’t train. We’ll see how he is, whether he can play or not. We have a session afterwards, but we have three games coming up this week and I’m sure he’ll be needed to play.

Valverde on Denis Suarez

He can play an important role as could the other players. I think when he’s back we have the full team at full fitness and of course he’s another option. The more players you’ve got, the more players can’t play. But that’s the way it is. I have a squad of 18 but I can only put 11 on the field.

Valverde on contract renewal

I have a contract at the moment. I have the option to extend it for another year. You know how things are in football you have to wait and see how things progress. It’s only September and there’s a long way to go.

Valverde on Dembele

We had high expectations for him, we knew what a talented player he is. It was a question of all that potential being reflected on the field. I’ve not really been surprised [by his start] because I always expect big things from my players. Let’s hope this is just the start of even greater things.

Valverde on Malcom

It’s good news for us that he can play for his country. We hope he can get back to full fitness as soon as possible. He did a training session yesterday. I think this week he should be available again.