Barca may have to go shopping for defenders AGAIN

FT Desk
  • FT Desk
  • 27 Sep 2022 21:37 BST
  • 3 min read
FT Desk 27 Sep 2022 21:37 BST 3 min read
Jules Kounde in action for Barcelona

Barcelona brought Jules Kounde, Andreas Christensen, Marcos Alonso and Hector Bellerin to the club this summer, but injuries mean they may already have to dip back into the transfer market for defenders in January.

Kounde set the Catalan giants back €50 million when he signed from Sevilla, while Christensen, Alonso and Bellerin arrived on free transfers from Chelsea and Arsenal respectively. All four have had minutes for Barca this season.

But Kounde pulled up injured whilst on international duty with France on Thursday, with a suspected torn hamstring set to leave him out for weeks. Barca have said that they will "see how the injury evolves," but it is a muscular complaint that has a habit of recurring for many players.

Even if Kounde recovers quickly, Ronald Araujo - one of the incumbent players in Barca's back four - was also injured on international duty with Uruguay, tearing his groin muscle in their friendly 1-0 loss to Iran in Austria, and his prognosis is even worse than Kounde's.

A decision to make

"The first team player Ronald Araujo will undergo surgery on Wednesday for the adductor longus tendon avulsion he has in his right thigh," Barca posted on their official website.

"The operation will be carried out by Dr. Lasse Lempainen, under the supervision of the Club’s medical staff, in Turku, Finland. When the operation is completed there will be another medical statement."

To compound Barca's problems, emergency centre-back Frenkie de Jong was also injured on international duty with the Netherlands. Barca will be able to get Gerard Pique's significant salary of their books if he plays in less than 35 per cent of their games this season, meanwhile.

It leaves Eric Garcia as Barca's only fit senior centre-back, making a January transfer raid for a player in the position significantly more likely than it was.