Ronald Araujo is the latest Barcelona defenseman who has admitted that he does not like playing at right-back, joining Jules Kounde in sharing that sentiment.
The Uruguayan center-back admitted as much in an interview with beIN SPORTS.
"I don't like playing right-back, rather as a center-back," Araujo said.
Similar to the aforementioned Kounde, Araujo has been used at right-back out of necessity rather than preference. Initially, Xavi used him there in the matches against Real Madrid as a way to keep Vinicius Jr. in check. However, Araujo was played there against Porto in the Champions League.
Curiously enough, like Kounde, Araujo has been utilized at right-back with the national team.
Against Deportivo Alaves, Xavi ended up switching Kounde and Araujo as the former was having a torrid time against the visitors' lone striker. Araujo ended up keeping Samu quiet for the rest of the match.
Acquiring Joao Cancelo on loan from Manchester City was supposed to solve the problem at right-back. With Alejandro Balde going through a rough patch and Barcelona struggling to create goal scoring opportunities, Xavi opted to play Cancelo on the left against Porto.
It was a move that paid dividends for Xavi as Cancelo scored the equalizer and provided the assist for Joao Felix's winner. Xavi may opt once again to play Cancelo on the left against Atletico Madrid.
In the limited times Araujo has played right-back, it is evident Kounde plays better there than the Uruguayan. Araujo has quickly become one of the best central defenders in the game and his abilities are squandered somewhat on the right. His ability to read the game and use his positioning to cut off any danger is second to none.
Kounde is better at bringing out the ball from the back but against Atletico Madrid, he may be tasked with trying to mark out Antoine Griezmann.
Until Balde regains the form he displayed last season, one of the two center-backs is going to be played out of position. Both have made their feelings known about playing on the right. But one of them is going to have to do it. Based on how they've played this season, the more prudent decision would be to play Araujo in his preferred position.