Barcelona coach Xavi is going to have to make a difficult decision this preseason: choosing his wingers.
Right now the Blaugrana have a surplus of options at the position.
Dembele, Raphinha, Ansu Fati, Ferran Torres and Abde are vying for two places – maybe even only one if Barcelona plays with four in the middle- and the battle to convince the Catalan coach has begun.
In the first preseason match, each of them left their mark. Abde was the one who made the biggest impression of them all.
The youth academy player starred in a run down the wing that set up the first goal for Lewandowski.
His first half was impressive and gave a sense of maturity that he previously lacked.
His continuity remains a question mark, and he is the main candidate to leave if Barcelona doesn’t manage to place any of the other wingers.
Raphinha played with Abde in the first half. The Brazilian, as always, gave the feeling that he could have offered more.
The first goal should have been his – he missed a simple shot against Ramsdale – and his influence on the game was scarce.
He did, however, add another goal to his tally as a Barcelona player, albeit with a certain amount of luck, and ended Barcelona ‘s set-piece drought.
Ansu has a spark
The other scorer of the night was Ferran Torres. Like Raphinha, he tiptoed through the match in terms of play, but he didn’t squander the only chance he had and effectively finished off the play setup by Dembele.
Ansu Fati showed other aspects of his game minus his finishing ability. For the first time in a long time, he was quick on his feet, with a spark that many have been asking for since his return from a serious injury.
He played for the team and made good decisions. He lacked the finishing touch, but his performance was met with good reviews. If he maintains his progress, he would be a big bonus for Barcelona.
As for Ousmane Dembele, he did more or less the same as he always does. Everything dangerous seemed to come from his boots… but the final decision was lacking.
However, at this stage of the summer, he seems to be the only player who is fully trusted by Xavi.