What does Pique's injury mean for Barcelona’s final days of the transfer window?
Barcelona have had a terrible summer. As well as losing Lionel Messi, they have suffered several injuries and now Gerard Pique is on the medical report as well. The veteran centre-back was forced off with a calf injury half an hour in to the Catalan club’s 1-1 draw with Athletic Club on Saturday night, which is a major concern.
Even if Barcelona aren’t as short at centre-back as they were last year, thanks to the arrival of Eric Garcia, this is still their weakest position by far and Pique’s injury is a worry. Injuries meant he could only play 23 matches in 2020/21, so starting the new campaign with a physical issue is far from ideal. Some Barcelona directors will even be wondering if they can do something in the transfer market to solve this issue.
There isn’t much money at all at the Camp Nou, as Joan Laporta outlined this week, but facing the season with a vulnerable centre-back group is a major headache for the Blaugrana. Given LaLiga’s economic control limits, Barcelona would seriously struggle to register another centre-back if they were to sign one, but perhaps Pique’s injury means they won’t force centre-backs out of the club.
Barcelona’s centre-backs for the 2021/22 season
In this summer where almost everyone at Barcelona has been linked with a transfer away at some point, only the French centre-backs Lenglet and Umtiti have been seriously discussed as transferable. Yet both remain at the club and Pique’s injury could see both remain past deadline day.
Even though Lenglet’s performances are inconsistent and even though Umtiti is so injury prone, Barcelona may decide that they need to keep all the centre-backs they have for the season ahead, especially if Ronald Koeman is going to play with a back three at times, like he did last season.
Put simply, Pique’s injury is a huge problem for Barcelona and the latest piece of bad news in a wretched summer. Even if he recovers from this calf issue quickly, he could soon find himself on the medical report again and Barcelona need to plan for that possibility.