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Ronald Araujo has become one of the most vital Barcelona players after the injury to Gerard Pique. Ronald Koeman had tried to get Eric Garcia in the summer transfer window but was unable to get him and thus in the absence of both Pique and Samuel Umtiti, the Dutch manager had to go searching in the youth departments. There Koeman identified the talent of Araujo and he was quickly instated into the first team, however, he has been out of action for quite a while now with an ankle injury and the manager still cannot give a concrete date for his return.
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The 21-year-old center-back has been an instant hit with the manager and he cemented his place in the team in the absence of Pique. Araujo and Oscar Mingueza have been the ones selected to replace the veteran defenders however, Araujo has been far more impactful than Mingueza. There have also been plans to send Mingueza back to the Barca B side after the transfer of Eric Garcia is completed next season.
When Araujo got injured, there was a big decision for Koeman to make, would he start Mingueza or Pique against Paris Saint-Germain. He chose to start the more experienced centre-back but it seems like Pique has lost his ability to play on the top side. Thus Barcelona desperately need back the young defender in their squad. Although Koeman confirmed that Araujo is working with the Physios and is improving steadily, he also confirmed that the player will not feature in the game against Elche.
Barcelona boss talks Ronald Araujo’s return
He was asked in the pre-match conference about an estimated date for the return of the young star and he told the reporters,
“He won’t make it for tomorrow because he’s still not trained with the group. He’s working with the physios, but first of all he will have to train with the group and see what the sensations are.”
“There are doubts and we have to wait. He could be (ready) for Saturday or for next Wednesday… but it’s not good to give concrete dates.”
The game against Sevilla on Saturday is vital for the Catalans and they will want to present their best team in their best form and thus the inclusion of Araujo is vital. The Catalan Kings are trailing 2-0 in the Copa del Rey but that lead is not impossible to overturn. We must hope that he continues to improve and that he can make an appearance in the crucial game against Sevilla as the Copa del Rey is the only trophy Barcelona can realistically lift.
Should Araujo be the undisputed starter for Barca?