An insight into the plans of newly-appointed Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez when it comes to goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has been provided on Thursday.
Derby lies in wait
Xavi, whose Camp Nou comeback was made official earlier this month, will of course lead his new side into action for the first time this coming weekend.
On the back of the international break coming to a close, the Blaugrana will get their campaign back underway in a highly-anticipated derby showdown with Espanyol on Saturday night.
The clash marks an important one for Xavi even when putting the fierce rivalry between the two clubs aside, with Barca, as things stand, dwindling in the depths of mid-table in La Liga.
This comes owing to a dismal opening to the season under the watch of now-former boss Ronald Koeman.
All told, the Catalan giants are winless across their last four league outings, the latest of which saw the once widely-feared Blaugrana surrender a 3-goal advantage to eventually depart Celto Vigo with just a share of the spoils.
3-0 down at half-time, Celta Vigo earn a point with the last kick of the game! pic.twitter.com/ws5Po5IY6P
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) November 6, 2021
In turn, it is safe to say that Xavi will need to establish which players he can depend on from the get-go, to assure that his adventure on the Blaugrana bench gets off to the most fruitful start possible.
And, as alluded to above, on Thursday, an insight into the Spaniard’s faith in one under-fire member of the club’s squad has been provided.
The star in question? Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
German shot-stopper ter Stegen, of course once regarded as one of the finest in his position in world football, has seen his stock drop considerably of late, owing to questionable form between the posts at the Camp Nou.
In turn, it had been widely suggested that those in a position of power at Barcelona could simply attempt to cut their losses, amid rumoured interest on the part of newly-minted Newcastle United.
If the latest word stemming from the Spanish media is anything to go by, though, then such a development has been all but ruled out.
As per a report from Gerard Romero, Xavi has made it clear to the board in Catalunya that ter Stegen remains an integral part of his project moving forward.
The 29-year-old is therefore expected to stay put for the considerable future, amid efforts to rediscover his brilliant best.
— Gerard Romero (@gerardromero) November 18, 2021
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