Sergi Roberto: has he done enough to justify Barcelona contract?

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In the wake of what was a frankly disappointing Barcelona performance against Malaga, Sergi Roberto gave the club some good news by committing his future to the Catalans until 2019.

Having another homegrown talent secured for the longer term shouldn't be understated. Barcelona, perhaps more than any other club, take great stock and pride in their ability to keep producing talent of the highest quality.

Assuming Luis Enrique is in the managerial position at Barca for the long term too, he has already shown his commitment to utilising the younger talent in the side with Roberto himself, Munir El-Haddadi, Marc Bartra and others getting decent minutes under their belts.

In essence, by constantly rotating and keeper the less experienced heads in the picture, it can only be good for their development.

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Sergi Roberto agrees new Barcelona contract

Question mark remains

But there does remain a question mark over Roberto however.

Whilst no one can question his ability per se, he has been in and around the first team picture quite a bit longer than the rest, and even now still doesn't appear quite ready to make his mark.

Sub appearances in the big games, and perhaps a full 90 minutes against supposed lesser opponents hint that he hasn't fully gained the trust of the technical staff at the club.

And when all is said and done, what can we point to as justification for the extension on his contract?

If the truth be told, not a great deal.

Hands off

Moreover, the length of contract seems to indicate more of a "hands off" approach to any other suitors as much as to hedge their bets that Roberto will eventually come good on a regular basis.

If we look at the current midfield set up, then even as a die-hard Barca fan, you can't honestly say that Roberto will displace any one of either Andres Iniesta, Ivan Rakitic or Xavi Hernandez.

The latter may well be coming to the end of his career at Camp Nou in any event, but is Roberto really going to be happy playing a bit-part role for the next 3-4 seasons+ until one of the other two decides to hang up their boots?

Not bothered

Just over 20 appearances at senior level since he made his debut four years ago isn't enough for a player who will shortly turn 23.

But intriguingly the player doesn't appear to be too bothered telling the official Barcelona website:

"I want to help the team as much as I can, whether as a starter, coming on in the second half or not even making the squad. Luis Enrique has said that he wants all of the players to be at their peak.”

Lack of ambition?

Is it a sign of a lack of ambition that he is just happy to be involved in and about the squad rather then pushing hard for a start every week?

With a buyout clause raised to €30 million Barca have succeeded in warding off other clubs for now, but it's time for the player to put in the hard yards, or risk becoming just another La Masia statistic.

La Liga

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