The international break has not been kind to Barcelona as 5 of our players have suffered injuries of different severity, keeping them on the sidelines for shorter or longer periods. These occasions provide an opportunity for new players to showcase their potential. In situations like these, La Masia never fails to produce these youngsters who wish to impress and prove their worth, and in this line, Chadi Riad can be the next very soon.
Injury Crisis and the upcoming games:
Our best center-back duo of Ronald Araújo and Jules Koundé have suffered injuries during the international break along with Memphis Depay and Frenkie De Jong. This is far from ideal in such a crucial period of the year, where we will face the likes of Real Madrid, Bayern München, Villareal, and Inter Milan twice.
An opportunity for Chadi Riad:
However, these situations are the ones to open opportunities for the likes of Chadi Riad. We will most probably see him playing for the first team in the near future. Riad can enjoy a similar career path up in the first team if he continues to impress Xavi much like Ronald Araújo, who had stepped up from the B team and cemented his position in the center of the defense with his impressive performance.
The youngster with Moroccan origins put pen to paper to his Barcelona contract in 2019, and with now 3 years of experience in his pocket at the rightly famed La Masia, he has stabilized his place as a starter in the Barca Atlètic lineup. As the senior figure of the youth defense, with injuries plaguing the first team, he is on the verge of getting the deserved call-up.
Profile of Chadi Riad:
Speaking about his profile, the 19-year-old is the ideal type of defender for modern football. Riad is defensively astute, utilizing his speed and physique combined with intelligent movement and anticipation to win the ball. In addition, Riad possesses great on-the-ball skills, refined passing on a short range, and when hitting long balls too, while he is also not afraid to even move forward with the ball.
All in all, from the present injury crisis in the defense Chadi Riad, can be the one to benefit from, despite he is still behind Eric García and Christensen in the line. After a debut in a friendly against Olot in the preseason, he is ready to make his first competitive appearance in the senior team. However, if both Koundé and Araújo return, the youngster will have a tough time getting regular playtime amongst the big boys, but if he can match or even exceed the expectations towards him, why cannot he be the next big thing?