It wouldn’t be a Barcelona season without the club losing two of its best players in Ronald Araújo and Pedri for a prolonged period of time.
Last week it was the Uruguayan center-back and this week it’s Pedri.
News broke on Thursday that the Spanish midfielder suffered an injury during training and was facing at least a month on the sidelines.
Shortly thereafter, Barcelona released an announcement, stating Pedri had suffered a right quadriceps injury but gave no timetable for his return.
What’s more concerning, aside from yet another injury, is it appears to be the same injury he suffered in February during a Europa League match against Manchester United. That caused him to to be out for two months.
The silver lining, if there is any, is the belief that the injury isn’t as serious as the one in February though he will likely need at least a month to recover. Given the season only started, Barcelona is going to play it safe and not rush him back. Last season, it seemed Pedri was going to be back in time for the match against Real Madrid only to suffer a relapse.
With Pedri’s injury history, the signing of Ilkay Gundogan becomes that much more important.
Before, they didn’t have anyone that could replace what Pedri brought to the team. By signing Gundogan, they acquired a player with experience who can deliver that final pass as demonstrated in the win over Cádiz.
Xavi Hernandez and Barcelona are nearing a point where counting on the 20-year-old is turning into a luxury rather than a given. Again, it’s why there was a need to get another midfielder.
For the time being, Fermin Lopez and Sergi Roberto are likely to get some playing time if Xavi continues to use Frenkie de Jong as a center-back to cover for Araújo’s absence or if he decides to stick with using four midfielders.
The situation isn’t ideal and Barcelona would much prefer being able to count on Pedri than not. However, they do have viable options now, which is something that couldn’t be said last season.