Barcelona take on Granada this weekend, and while they currently have just two forwards available for that tie, there is a chance that they could have reinforcements. Young striker Marc Guiu could recover in time, but Sport say that Brazilian Raphinha will also be back on Sunday. Full-back Joao Cancelo is also due to be fit, after coming off at half-time against Alaves.
After missing a month of action with a hamstring problem, for the second time this season, Raphinha will return to the pitch knowing the pressure is on. This season he was meant to make the right-wing spot his own following the departure of Ousmane Dembele, but so far the only clarity is that Lamine Yamal will be the occupier of the role in the near future. The coaching staff like Raphinha, and understand that his injuries have been untimely, but the reality bites for Barcelona.
He has still managed four goals and seven assists in 20 appearances this season, which are good numbers, but ahead of a summer in which Barcelona need to make multiple big sales, he is seen as expendable by the Blaugrana. The reality is that he has four months to prove that he is too good to let go of in the summer, as the Catalan side gear up to take advantage of interest from Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.
Despite good production in both of his seasons, and plenty of hard work, Raphinha’s erratic performances and decision-making have left the jury out on his importance to Barcelona. One of the central defenders is likely to leave, but unless a midfielder is sold, then Raphinha stands out as perhaps their most valuable asset on the market that they might be willing to part with.