FC Barcelona manager Xavi comes in defence for youngster's lack of minutes

FC Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has stated that he did not want Vitor Roque during the January transfer window as he desired a midfielder.

Saatvik Oberoi
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The Vitor Roque situation keeps grabbing the headlines in FC Barcelona, as the young Brazilian attacker was again utilised as an unused substitute during the Catalans' 2-0 win against Real Sociedad on Monday, putting fuel to the fire over his future at the club and the forthcoming summer transfer window.

Barça are apparently planning to allow the 19-year-old to depart on loan for the following campaign, but the player's agent recently issued an inflammatory statement in which he stated that Roque will either remain or depart on a permanent basis, causing a mess only a few months following signing with the club in January.

In an interview with the media on Wednesday, Xavi Hernández was asked about Vitor Roque's predicament once more, and he appears perplexed and unsure of what all the commotion is about when it involves an emerging player who has just recently arrived in an unfamiliar land and is still learning.

He said, “The intention was not for Vitor to come in December, for him to stay there [in Brazil]. The option was opened up with the injuries of Gavi and Balde. We believed it was for the best. This is a debate that, for me, does not make sense. He is learning. There are footballers ahead of him, who are in better conditions, and that is why he plays less. These things have happened all my life.”

“He wasn’t supposed to be here” : Xavi on Vitor Roque’s signing

According to Xavi, Roque wasn't even intended to serve as a Barça player currently, and his presence was only made possible by Gavi and Alejandro Balde sustaining season-ending injuries and having their salary taken off the books. This was a talented striker Xavi hoped to work with next year, and various rumours at the time suggested the coach requested a midfielder during January following Gavi's injury, but Roque's arrival was expedited instead.

The FC Barcelona coach further said that, “He wasn’t supposed to be here anyway, and I believe the other attackers in the squad understand my system better and are more capable of contributing right away. I didn’t have a pre-season with this guy, and we should have signed a midfielder instead of him in January anyway. What do you want me to do? Play him when he’s not ready?”

FC Barcelona Xavi