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What’s the answer to the Semedo/Roberto conundrum for Barcelona?

Ernesto Valverde doesn’t appear to know

Barcelona v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: First Leg Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

After an end of season where he wasn’t played as much as he would like or expect, and having been subbed off in the Copa del Rey final, Nelson Semedo appears to have made a decision. He wants out of FC Barcelona.

He’s no Dani Alves - but then who is - though he’s certainly an upgrade on Sergi Roberto in the right-back position.

The midfielder was shoe-horned in there by Luis Enrique to plug a hole, and did a reasonable enough job that he ended up with a semi-permanent role on the right side of defence.

Reasonable enough won’t wash at Barca, however. A La Masia graduate he may be, but if Sergi isn’t good enough, then Semedo has to get the nod there every single time.

Therein lies the problem because Ernesto Valverde doesn’t appear to see things so black and white.

Offers of €50m or thereabouts could well tempt the club into parting with the Portuguese, but I’m not really sure what that achieves.

The suggestion that Moussa Wague would be promoted to the first team won’t be too wide of the mark, but even though he’s a more natural fit in the position than Roberto, the club aren’t in a position to give him an extended run there at this point.

So, Roberto would then be asked to fill in again. Square peg, round hole.

For a coach that’s been in the position for two full seasons now, he surely should have some idea of who his best XI is, and stick to it, rotating only when necessary.

There’s a common perception that he hasn’t made up his mind on the right-back position, so logic would surely dictate that you play whoever does a better job there on a regular basis. Without doubt, that’s Semedo.

Why the reticence to play him then? Since the beginning of March, the Portuguese only managed a full 90 minutes on four separate occasions.

Looking ahead to the new season, it’s clear that the position is going to continue to be a thorn in Valverde’s side when it comes to selection.

Supporters and also the board will not accept another season of ‘mediocrity’ though. The Champions League must be secured this time.

In order to get over the line, the Blaugranes must be built on a solid foundation at the back. Whether or not De Ligt arrives, Barca are already well set centrally and on the left side.

Not getting their right-back issues concluded effectively will come back to haunt them later in the campaign.

It’s simply not good enough.

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