O F F I C I A L

FC Barcelona has confirmed that, after a successful knee operation, Luis Suárez will be out for four months. Not 4 weeks, not 6, not 8. FOUR MONTHS. Massive blow for Barça. Until May. Apart from countless league matches, he would miss the Clásico; the round of 32, 16, quarterfinals and semis of the Cup; and the last 16, QFs and, depending on his recovery, the semis of the UCL too.

As frustrating as he can be for most of the time, this can be catastrophic for Barcelona. No matter his form, he’s always a guarantee of goals, especially in La Liga, and now the burden will fall even more on Leo. Griezmann will have to step up and we may see him in a new role, increasing his influence. Our wingers, with the unknown of Dembélé and the inexperience of Carles Pérez and Ansu Fati, will need to assume many responsibilities.

They are ready. I trust our boys and this is a massive chance for them, more so considering they haven’t had many minutes lately. Another alternative would be to sign a striker but, considering the likes of Lautaro Martínez or Gabriel Jesus are not available in this window, I would not do so. We have very few options in the market and I’d rather stick with what we have. Still, we should probably sign Olmo. Then, could Abel Ruiz be staying now? I doubt it, mostly given that not even Pimienta is playing him regularly, but it could be worth reconsidering it.

Tactically, the absence of Suárez changes the team A LOT. Valverde’s system without Suárez is not sustainable. Playing Luis has its own advantages and disadvantages, but it’s undeniable that Ernesto’s football is set up around the Uruguayan and Messi. If we don’t want our season to end now, what we must do is to start the season here. What I mean is that we must create new tactics and new automatisms.

If Valverde leaves in mid season, this is the moment. We need to build the team almost from zero again, so we cannot waste time. The injury of Suárez is a huge problem, but it’s a chance to start all over again. Besides, this could be the final months of our 9 here, I guess. Persistent injury problems and soon 33. It doesn’t look good.

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