Xavi: Barca won’t miss Lionel Messi – but Arda Turan will have a huge impact
Xavi is confident Barcelona will not notice the loss of Lionel Messi to injury and also told Eurosport.co.uk in an exclusive interview that Arda Turan will show his “spectacular talent” from January.
Messi was ruled out for up to eight weeks with a knee ligament injury in the Liga win over Las Palmas on September 26 and Barca lost their following league match when falling to a 2-1 defeat to Sevilla.
But Xavi, who left Barca for Al-Sadd in the summer, says the Catalan club will not feel the loss of the man widely tipped to regain the FIFA Ballon d’Or this year after steering his team to the treble in 2014-15.
“I think Barca look good at the moment,” Xavi told Eurosport.co.uk. “But it is true that Messi’s injury is quite a big one. The biggest injury that could have happened to the team right now.
“But it’s a good enough team not to notice his absence. It is true that after the team lost to Sevilla the alarm will be raised, but I think it was a winnable match for them, they would have normally won, but they were just unlucky not to score. But the team is going up.
“They are being very unlucky injuries-wise, so it’s like a negative dynamic, but it’s an overall good team. They are magnificent people, they have a fantastic manager and a clear mind so they are on the up for sure. No doubt.”
Barcelona’s fitness problems will be relieved in January when their transfer ban comes to an end and they are permitted to register Aleix Vidal and Arda Turan, who were signed from Sevilla and Atletico Madrid in the summer.
Turan, a £24m signing from Atleti, is expected to make a major impact on the team and Xavi is enthusiastic about seeing him in the club’s colours.
“He’s going to be very important,” Xavi added. “Both Arda and Aleix, who is hardly spoken about, will be very important. Because if you think about it, they are both versatile and they can play in any position, midfield for example.
“Aleix can play in defence too, Arda can be midfielder and forward. He can adapt to any position. I think he has spectacular talent, and he’s going to bring a lot to Barca, but of course, we have to wait until January.”