19-year-old Barcelona midfielder is set to start as a right-back against Mallorca this weekend.
Barcelona’s recent string of setbacks in terms of injuries has left manager Xavi Hernandez with little choices for the right-back position.
In fact, the three players the Barça manager has deployed at right defender this season—Hector Bellerin, Jules Kounde, and Ronald Araujo—have all sustained injuries over the past week.
Sergi Roberto’s condition had also been a source of worry, but the 30-year-old appears to have recovered from his Achilles tendon problem and will start this weekend when Barcelona takes on RCD Mallorca.
But for the trip to Son Moix this Saturday, Xavi still needs protection at right back. Additionally, Marc Casado, a 19-year-old prospect in the club’s Atletic team, has been chosen by the Barcelona first-team manager to fly to Mallorca, according to journalist Albert Roge.
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Alvaro Nunez of Barça Athletic and Eric Garcia, who occasionally played right-back in the previous season, were two of the choices available to Xavi. Rafa Marquez, manager of the reserve team, has also mentioned Alvaro Sanz.
He might have also substituted a left-back like Marcos Alonso or Alejandro Balde for the right-back position.
He has, however, chosen Casado, inviting the star of La Masia to first-team practice today. The adolescent plays predominantly in the pivot position for Barça Athletic and is a midfielder by trade.
However, in Barcelona’s opening preseason match of the year against UE Olot this past summer, Xavi had used Casado as a right-back. And it appears that the manager trusted the young player enough to back him again when his usual picks for right-back were unavailable.
Since 2016, Casado has been a part of Barça. He has participated in seven games this year but has not yet made his first team debut. However, given the lack of available right-backs at Xavi’s disposal, that might alter in the upcoming weeks.