Ernesto Valverde has been talking to the press ahead of Sunday’s visit from Leganes in La Liga.
Barcelona will be out for revenge against Los Pepineros, who beat them 2-1 earlier this season, and Valverde is expecting a tough test.
He also talked about rotatation, Lionel Messi, Samuel Umtiti’s fitness and rumored signings Carlos Vela and Frenkie de Jong.
Here are the best bits:
Valverde on Leganes
The game we played against them earlier this season has to teach us something. Leganes get back well, cross the ball well, and they have good shooters. We’ll have to be careful. It’ll be an important match for us,
Valverde on Messi
It’s possible that he might not play one of the upcoming games. We’re reaching the point when we start to count down matches. We need to be stronger than ever to achieve our objectives. The fixture list is tough, we know this month is tough.
Valverde on Umtiti
He is working on his recovery, we see him doing well but I do not have a specific date for his return. I could say two or three weeks but I don’t know exactly. Hopefully he’s back as soon as possible. I am not worried.
Valverde on how Malcom can play more
Play a lot of games, score goals and show he has a place in the side - the same as everyone else. I don’t ask anything different of Malcom to the others. I only want him to show his qualities and be decisive - and to help us when we don’t have the ball.
Valverde on rotation
We’ll have to make some changes and look at certain situations. We’re getting players back, players who can help us rotate, like Thomas Vermaelen. We need to be smart when rotating.
Valverde on signing a striker
I know the club are working on signing a No.9, but it’s not as easy as it looks. Let’s see if we can get something done, if not we’ll continue with what we already have.
Valverde on Carlos Vela
He is a great player, who has already shown his qualities in La Liga. There is a lot of noise around each name that comes out but I can not say more than that because he is a player who belongs to another club.
Valverde on Frenkie de Jong
He’s a great player, and possibly with a great future head of him. But I don’t usually talk about players who might interest Barça. Names are always mentioned. He’s at another club and we’ll see what happens later on. We have a lot of respect for the player and for Ajax.