After it was confirmed that Barcelona star Gavi has suffered a full anterior cruciate ligament tear on Monday, the Catalan side are evaluating their options to replace the 19-year-old for the rest of the season.
The teenage midfielder had been crucial for Xavi Hernandez this season, starting the majority of the games, and only missing two games through suspension. Barcelona could turn to La Masia or the Barca Atletic side, for alternatives, but already that source of talent is relatively new to that level, having promoted the likes of Fermin Lopez and Gavi before they would have been in normal circumstances.
Loan starlet Pablo Torre is not getting the game time Barcelona expected at Girona, thus they could try to recall the 20-year-old, although Xavi did not give him many chances last season either. Barcelona will be allowed to replace Gavi to the tune of 80% of his salary for the rest of the season though, and Xavi may be keen on a more experienced option.
MD claim that one of their summer targets could be the solution to the conundrum facing Xavi. Argentina and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Giovani Lo Celso was on Barcelona’s shortlist over the summer, with the Blaugrana interested in a loan move for the former Villarreal and Real Betis playmaker. The 27-year-old was more keen on remaining at Spurs, to see if he could win a place in the new era of the North London club under new manager Ange Postecoglou.
Having appeared just four times, amounting to only 83 minutes, that has not been the case. The Catalan daily say that Xavi is still keen on Lo Celso, and he could fit the bill if the finances can be worked out.
It will be intriguing to see if Xavi and Barcelona do attempt a loan deal to replace Gavi, and if so in what form. Before his injury, much of the focus on their shortcomings was in the pivot position, where Oriol Romeu is yet to convince as a regular starter there. Following Gavi’s injury, Xavi could focus on a deeper midfielder, knowing that Ilkay Gundogan, Fermin Lopez and Pedri all prefer to operate further forward.