Barcelona confirm double blow ahead of must win games for Ronald Koeman
Barcelona’s injury woes are piling up as the matches arrive thick and fast. The Catalan club suffered a double blow to add to the insult of suffering a demoralising defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
The club have confirmed that left back Jordi Alba and talented young midfielder Pedri will be out of action after picking up injuries during the clash against the Bavarian giants. The duo’s absence will leave Koeman short of first-team players with the Dutchman now relying on the team’s younger stars to make the step up.
Alba came off in the 74th minute during their 3-0 loss to Bayern in the Champions League with the club confirming the next day that the left-back had picked up a hamstring injury. The club refused to provide an update on the extent of the injury or a potential timeline for his return to action.
“Tests carried out on Wednesday morning on Jordi Alba have revealed that he has inured the biceps femoris muscle in his right hamstring. As a result, the player is unavailable for selection until he has recovered,” the Catalan club said via a statement on Wednesday.
Alba’s injury provided the opportunity for youngster Alejandro Balde to make his official debut for the first team. The 18-year-old could keep his place in the squad when Barcelona take on Granada on Monday night in La Liga.
Pedri, on the other hand, completed the full 90 minutes against the German Bundesliga champions, but was assessed to have picked up a left quadricep injury. The Spain international has had a gruelling 12 months playing 56 times for his club, while also representing Spain at the European Championship and at the Tokyo Olympics.
The teenage midfielder is highly rated having come through the ranks at the club and remains a key part of Koeman’s first-team. Barcelona could be without the midfielder for a key run of fixtures that sees them play four games in the next nine days, which includes a must win game against Benfica in the Champions League.
“The first team player Pedri has a quadriceps muscle injury in his left thigh. The player is unavailable for selection and his recovery will dictate his return,” Barcelona confirmed.
Alba and Pedri now join a long list of players that includes Ousmane Dembele, Martin Braithwaite, Ansu Fati, Sergino Dest and Sergio Aguero, who are all currently out with injuries. Fati remains the closest in terms of making a return to the first team, having returned to training following a long-term injury absence.