Football

Three reasons why Sergi Roberto can cement his place in Barcelona's XI

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Sergi Roberto has been afforded the perfect chance to finally make his mark at Barcelona.

Dani Alves' untimely groin injury has left a vacancy in the right-back area of defence and with no other player available and qualified to deputise for the Brazilian, Luis Enrique will take advantage of Roberto's pre-season dalliance in the position.

For a player that has only featured for the first-team on 42 occasions in five seasons, 31 of which were as substitute, this next month gives Roberto the opportunity to see out 90 minutes in at least five La Liga matches.

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Manna from heaven for a player that really needs to make his mark in the side this season or risk being the latest in a long line of La Masia graduates to be shown the exit door.

Let's take a look at three reasons why Roberto can cement a place in the first XI...

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Right place, right time, right age

At just 23-years-old, Roberto has nine years on Alves and given the right amount of time in the role, can provide something approaching the verve and effervescence of the Brazilian.

Although Alves has recently signed a new deal and it's true that he does provide more than his fair share of assists, he isn't getting any younger.

If Barca want to be progressive and look to the future, and profess to wanting decent competition for places, then Roberto has to be given an extended tenure in the role.

There appear to be many instances in football where fate plays a part and there's certainly an element of that here.

Roberto has arrived in the right place at just the right time.

Viva La Masia

Barca are desperate for another Masia success story.

Make no mistake, seeing the likes of Gerard Deulofeu, Adama Traore, Bojan Krkic, Cristian Tello and more slip through their fingers won't have impressed those in the higher echelons of the club.

Much has been made of the club's penchant for more high-profile transfers of late, at the expense of homegrown talent.

Roberto now represents a genuine chance of being the next off of the production line to make a dent in the first XI.

He was competent and assured in the role in pre-season and man-of-the-match in Bilbao.

As his confidence grows, so will the standard of his performances and he'll likely want to become the poster boy for a new generation of Masia hopefuls. A win-win situation for player and club.

High level output

It often goes unnoticed because of his lack of match time that Roberto is on par with the best passers of the ball in the side.

WhoScored note his success in this department as in the high 90's and that was perhaps why he was labelled as the next Xavi as he came through the ranks.

No doubting that moniker was more of a hindrance than a help to this point but by being moved out of the firing line so to speak, the player can develop a new role at his own pace, and one that it must be said he already feels comfortable in.

Who can honestly say that they say that coming?!

Barca require the highest level of output from their players and Roberto will not disappoint in this regard.

It's time...

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Topics:
Football
La Liga
Barcelona

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