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Valverde talks Paulinho, Samper, & Sergi Roberto ahead of El Clasico

The coach has been talking about his new squad

FC Barcelona v Chapecoense - Joan Gamper Trophy Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Ernesto Valverde faced the press again on Tuesday and was peppered with questions about the squad as he prepares for the second leg of the Supercopa de Espana.

The futures of Sergi Samper, Sergio Roberto and Arda Turan were all on the agenda as well as new signing Paulinho. Here’s the best bits from his press conference...

Valverde on Paulinho

He's a very important player in the Brazilian national team and he's a starter in midfield. Physically he's strong, he can add a new perspective to our midfield and I think in that sense he will add to the team, he's a good acquisition.

A lot is being said about Paulinho before he's even come here. He's a great player and let’s assess him on his performances. Let’s make comments when we've seen him perform, he's coming here to help us.

Valverde on Samper

I did speak to him about four days ago, the idea being that it would be good for him to go on loan. But he's come from a difficult loan where he didn’t get the time he wanted, at a club that had difficulties, with three different managers. Last year did not go well but we want him to keep making progress. He needs to accumulate minutes, he needs to progress and he could be an important player here, that's the idea. That's what we want out of him.

FC Barcelona v Chapecoense - Joan Gamper Trophy Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Valverde on Real Madrid

We need to generate chances if we want to score that's very important. We know they scored three against us at home but regardless of that it’s always our obligation to go out and control their counter-attacks, they are specialists at that.

For large parts of the game on Sunday we did very well. There were a couple of moments when we took our eye off the ball, they got the chance to breakaway and that was what tipped the balance, otherwise we were very much in control

Some might say the last goal they scored was decisive but they are the best in the world at that kind of football. We need to defend well and try to keep them out.

Valverde on Sergi Roberto

He's a player I count on yes, he’s a very important member of the team. There's no doubt about that. He’s an important player, I am counting on him as part of my squad.

Should he start? Well, it depends on the game - sometimes yes, sometimes no. I would like him to think he's part of the team. He was important last season and he's important for me as well. He’s versatile, he can play in lots of different positions, I consider it an advantage to have a player like him. He works hard in training. You ask about him and Samper - they've come through the youth system, they're educated in how the team works, you can see that in training. I insist that Roberto is an important player - how important - that depends on how he performs and also what I decide.

FC Barcelona v Chapecoense - Joan Gamper Trophy Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Valverde on Arda Turan

I don't know (if he will stay). He is a player I understand was a big investment. I think he's always been important at every club he has played at. But here it depends on how he performs on the pitch and the decisions will be made accordingly. I have 25 players to pick from, goalkeepers too, and it's not easy to chose.

Valverde on potential new signings

I said before the market is open until the end of August and we are open to making changes to the squad. But we need to get the best squad possible because we have such important challenges ahead of us.

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