Pedri and De Jong sharpen Barcelona’s hieroglyph | Soccer | Sports

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When Barcelona, ​​especially Xavi Hernández, began to envision a peaceful end to the season, at least on the grass, Pedri González and Frenkie de Jong were injured at San Mamés. “We are very sad. She is a very big bitch,” the Barça coaching staff lamented this Monday. Xavi was convinced, as he repeated in each appearance, that his team had “relaxed” since he had announced that he was saying goodbye to Barça this summer. A premise that the Barça leadership did not agree with, nor in the sports management. “On Granada day they were not very relaxed,” they replied from the offices, in reference to the draw in Montjuïc against the Andalusian team (3-3), the day Joan Laporta made some cupcakes fly — “It had been published that they were canapés, but in reality they were pastries,” says the same source—, while the technical secretary analyzed: “The key is the return of important players like Marc (Ter Stegen), but also Pedri, De Jong and Gündogan are finally starting.” to play together and understand each other.”

According to what the coaching staff and sports management agree, recovering the figure of a defensive pivot (Christensen) freed De Jong and advanced Gündogan. “Frenkie is enhanced when he has meters to move the ball and Gundo is more comfortable near the area,” they explain in the staff Barça coach. De Jong, then, mixed with Christensen at the base of the square drawn by Xavi in ​​the center of the field, while Gündogan and Pedri did so near the area. However, when Barça needed to reaffirm itself emotionally, but above all football-wise, he remained silent in San Mamés. And, to make matters worse for Barça’s game flourished. Along the way, he had already lost Gavi (cruciate ligament injury).

De Jong left Bilbao with the orthopedic boot and on crutches; Pedri walking, but through tears. This Monday morning, Christensen took the Dutchman to the Ciudad Deportiva. Medical tests detected a sprain of the external lateral ligament of the right ankle. At Barcelona they are optimistic about the recovery of the 21st. “In a month he can return to play,” say the Barcelona doctors. With Pedri, on the other hand, the alarms went off. “I have the same feeling as always,” the canary explained to his companions in San Mamés. And the usual thing means a new muscle injury (a problem in the rectus femoris of the right thigh, according to the club’s medical report), the third of the season, eighth since he joined the Barcelona first team in the 2020-2021 season. . In his three and a half years at Barça, Pedri has missed 71 games.

Pedri’s muscle problems are practically a state matter in Barcelona’s medical services. The doctors had already warned the midfielder that if he suffered a relapse in the same area he would have to undergo surgery. The canary, in any case, haggled over the scalpel. “We are going to try to do conservative treatment,” they explained in the medical services. At the Ciudad Deportiva they avoided predicting a discharge date for Pedri. The player’s (optimistic) idea is to return before the end of the season and thus be able to participate with Spain in the European Championship in Germany.

The canary cannot find a solution to his successive muscle injuries. Neither do Barcelona’s medical services. “He has gone from playing with his friends to practically playing in the first team of Las Palmas,” the Barça technical secretary explains, in reference to the fact that Pedri jumped from Tegueste’s grassroots football (a humble team in his Municipality) to the youth team. Canary. “Nowadays the quarries work very well on the physique of their players. Perhaps the fact of not having been in a professional academy takes its toll on him,” the same sources conclude.

It happens that they not only suffer because of Pedri and De Jong in the Ciudad Deportiva. Faced with the financial limitations that Barcelona suffers – they are not optimistic about meeting the income budget for this season – in the offices they are beginning to think about getting rid of some of their best players. Ronald Araujo is in Bayern Munich’s orbit, while De Jong has long had his name in the spotlight for the sports management. “We really like Frenkie as a player. But what we don’t like are his numbers. Neither the one about his contract, nor the one about his statistics,” they complained in the sports area. De Jong has one of the highest salaries in the squad (close to 24 million, including debt deferred during the pandemic), while he has 17 goals and 21 assists in 210 games with Barcelona.

Pedri, on the other hand, seemed untouchable. However, he recently began to consider a possible transfer of him. In the Canary’s entourage, in any case, they close the door to leaving Barcelona: “He deserves respect personally and professionally. It is a malicious rumor.” The president of La Liga, Javier Tebas, has already made it clear: “The solution for Barça is to sell two or three top-level players.” Barcelona is a hieroglyph. It is in the offices, also on the grass. Laporta, who last week lost Maribel Meléndez, his highest executive, will have to figure out how to balance the numbers. For Xavi more of the same. Without De Jong or Pedri, the ball only has eyes for Gündogan and Lamine Yamal. And as if that were not enough, Napoli was waiting for him motivated: in the last weekend they beat Juve in the classic.

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