The ongoing hiatus in club football due to the FIFA World Cup has given Xavi Hernandez ample time to spend with some of the members of the squad as well as young players and get his ideas across to the team.
Even though the January transfer window is just around the corner, Xavi has consistently kept tabs on the youth squads of Barcelona, especially knowing how players such as Alejandro Balde and Gavi have risen up the ranks in recent years.
In one similar case, Albert Roge reports that Xavi has kept close tabs on Hector Fort during the break. The Spanish journalist suggests that the Barcelona coach had tested the youngster in the right-back position, in order to assess whether or not he can be an option for the first team.
Fort is a native of Barcelona, who currently plies his trade for Barça’s U19 squad. He notably featured in five matches in the UEFA Youth League this term and is known for his qualities as a full-back. He can operate at centre-back as well if required.
The promising right-back is currently training with the Barcelona first team, with Xavi, in particular, keeping a close eye on his development.
This is hardly a surprise as Barça have struggled in the right-back position. Their main option Hector Bellerin’s progress was stifled by an injury and his future at Barça remains doubtful.
Veteran star Sergi Roberto also suffered from an injury, prompting Xavi to use the likes of Jules Kounde and Balde as makeshift right-backs.
This has accentuated the need for a new right-back. And although Barcelona have prioritised the signing of a full-back in the upcoming January transfer window, Xavi trying his luck with young players such as Fort can only be a healthy sign for the club, as far as its youth development is concerned.