The list of Barcelona absentees has continued to grow after the club announced on Wednesday morning that three additional players have tested positive for COVID-19. The three first-team members join an ever-expanding injury list for the Catalonian club.
Injuries and Covid-19 Cases Increase With Barcelona Absentees Into Double Figures
French Duo Test Positive Following Testing Protocols
Barcelona have announced that Ousmane Dembele, Samuel Umtiti and youngster Gavi have all tested positive for coronavirus.
A statement reads; “The players O. Dembélé, Umtiti, and Gavi have tested positive for Covid-19 following PCR tests administered to the team. The players are in good health and are in isolation at their homes. The club has informed the relevant authorities.”
The trio will join other teammates on the sidelines including Alex Balde, Clement Lenglet, Jordi Alba, and Dani Alves. They previously returned a positive test suggesting an outbreak could have occurred within the camp. There are now seven players in isolation.
Barcelona have resumed training following the Spanish league’s winter break and face a trip to Mallorca on January 2. They will be looking to start 2022 differently compared to 2021 following a year of disappointment. The club faced incredible financial difficulties which forced them to release and sell some players, including global superstar Lionel Messi.
The club further faced terrible luck as Sergio Aguero announced his sudden retirement following advice from medical experts. The Argentine experienced breathing difficulties during Barcelona’s match against Alaves and was later diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmia.
Barcelona’s Torrid La Liga Campaign
Barcelona have struggled this season following the club’s financial difficulties. They currently sit seventh in the La Liga table, with an 18 point deficit to leaders Real Madrid.
Their loss to Cadiz in early December confirmed that this season is the worst start for the club since 1987/88. Xavi was announced as head coach following Ronald Koeman’s sacking and is set to be in charge of the club until at least 2024.
Their Champions League performance replicated their domestic form as they didn’t make it out of the group stages. This is the first time since the 2000/2001 season that the Blaugrana will not take part in the Champions League knockout rounds. They will instead participate in the Europa League play-off round, where they face a tricky tie with Italian team Napoli. The Spanish outfit will look to avoid further embarrassment in the Europa League.
Who Is Injured At Barcelona?
As well as the COVID-19 infections, Barcelona face an insurmountable list of injuries with nearly 15 first-team players out of action. These include Eric Garcia, martin Braithwaite, Memphis Depay, Moussa Wague, Pedri, Roberto, Sergio Dest and Yusuf Demir.
Despite the injuries and financial difficulties, Barcelona managed to secure the signing of Ferran Torres from Manchester City for a reported fee of €55 million. They are looking to offload Samuel Umtiti and a few other players in order to repair their wage bill.