Ronald Araujo started at right-back in two of Barcelona’s four pre-season games in the US. The Uruguayan’s defensive performance was perfect, but his attacking contribution leaves a lot of questions.
Here’s what the fans had to say about Xavi playing Araujo, arguably his best centre-back, on the flank.
MIPLonzoSZN: “Prefer him to Dest to be honest. I like defensive backs more. But we should get someone else.”
MichaCule: “He can be good when we need him but it shouldn’t be his starting position. Needs to be a CB. Would rather play with 3 at the back than turn him into a starting RB. Too good at CB for that. Unless it’s vs. Vinicius and similar players”
kingsmines132: “No. He isn’t good on the ball to play Rb. He loses possession easily when pressed and has little attacking output. His talent is completely wasted there. He is our best CB so he should play there.”
KGTheGamer2: “On the one hand he’s not balanced enough. He’s not a threat in attack.. but, he brings overall balance to the team because he let’s Jordi Alba attack freely leaving us with a make-shift back 3. I feel like it works. It’s really good. And it’s clear that no one can get past him”
xdMidway: “In big games (against tricky wingers x fast wingers like Vini) we need Araujo or Kounde, but against smaller teams or at least games where we will have the ball for like 70%, I don’t need to see Araujo on the RB. Maybe Kounde being better on the ball could work, but not Araujo.”
Xavi’s current options at right-back are Sergino Dest and Sergi Roberto. However, it appears that the coach doesn’t trust either of them that much.
The Catalans are looking to sign Cesar Azpilicueta, though, who might become the starting right-back once at Camp Nou.