Not like he had ever impressed since his return from injury, Sergi Roberto had a shocking performance against Granada. And while the fans always tend to point the finger at some players following a defeat, his situation is indeed quite worrying.
At the start of the season, Sergi performed at a consistently high level, providing Ronald Koeman with some defensive solidity as well as mature decision-making in attack. His understanding of Ousmane Dembélé’s movements was one of the primary reasons why Sergiño Dest wasn’t enjoying much game time. Those who weren’t carried away by the general opinion on Roberto valued his contribution.
However, since his injury and relapse, it has all gone downhill for Roberto. A muscle injury is a difficult one to recover from, as the functions of the system remain limited for a long time. But what Sergi showed against Granada didn’t have much to do with the muscle. It’s his staggering lack of confidence that became apparent. While completing 91% of his passes, most of these had no purpose. Roberto’s functions aren’t suitable for the wingback role, where Sergiño Dest’s explosiveness and audacity is very much necessary.
This raises the ever-present question: should Sergi Roberto stay? For me, this depends on various factors. If Ronald Koeman reverts to a back 4, Sergi’s maturity will come in handy. In a back 3, though, the midfield seems to be his only other option. But we already have a lot of young talents in his position. The possibility of Emerson’s arrival makes Roberto’s case even more curious, but we’ll have to wait and see how things pan out.