Sergio Busquets criticises Barcelona chiefs over lack of squad depth


Sergio Busquets has criticised the Barcelona hierarchy over the lack of squad depth at the club.

The midfielder featured in Barca’s 1-1 draw away at Napoli in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday.

Barca will be down to the bare bones for the return fixture, with Busquets set to miss the game through suspension after picking up a yellow card in the clash in Naples.

They were already without forwards Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele, and boss Quique Setien now faces a selection headache after Arturo Vidal was sent off late on, and Gerard Pique suffered an injury.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Busquets blasted the club’s thread-bare squad.

“[Nelson] Semedo and I were one booking away from a ban so we were always running that risk [of suspension],” he said.

Busquets has blasted the Barca board over the club's lack of squad depth
Busquets has blasted the Barca board over the club’s lack of squad depth

“We hope Pique’s injury is nothing serious but we will take on the second leg with what we have. We don’t have a deep squad because, unfortunately, that’s how it was planned.”

Setien had named four players from Barcelona’s B team on the bench for the trip to Napoli, where Antoine Griezmann’s crucial away goal levelled the scores after Dries Mertens’ opener.

Barcelona’s first-team squad is only made up of 20 players, including 17-year-old B team star Ansu Fati.

Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic also lamented Barca’s lack of numbers, and knows they will be up against it to qualify for the last-eight.

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Rakitic was also critical of the limited number of first-team options
Rakitic was also critical of the limited number of first-team options

“We have a short squad but those that are in charge knew that,” Rakitic said. “The solution is what it is. Those that are available will have work really hard because we have an important match in the second leg.”

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger doubted Barcelona’s credentials to win the competition, offering a brutal assessment of their perceived decline.

Wenger told beIN Sports : “They win the ball less quickly back, they sit back a little bit more.

“They are more open from midfield, they do not create chances, they have no goalscorer (in midfield) as [Frenkie] de Jong is a sitting player, Busquets is a sitting player, and they have nobody from midfield who goes in the box.

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“I think that’s why they played Rakitic. The only player who goes within the box from midfield is Vidal, but he is sometimes technically a bit short.

“And then they have something they have lost. I played against Barcelona with [Dani] Alves on the right, [Jordi] Alba on the left.

“On the flanks their full-backs – apart from Alba – their numbers to create chances from the right-side are very poor.”





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