There was a report regarding the situation of Sergiño Dest at Barcelona. That was before the recent loss at home to Real Betis. Sport reported that Xavi Hernandez doesn’t completely trust the USMNT international as his right-back. And with his performance on Saturday, the defender hasn’t done himself any good in convincing the manager. Nevertheless, there seems to be a silver lining in the cloud if Barcelona can be patient with Dest.
In Barcelona’s undeserved defeat against Real Betis, Dest’s was the most unnoticed player on the pitch. He was neither hot nor cold. Ronald Araujo was the player who persistently had to do the dirty work on the right side of the pitch. There were always concerns whenever Dest was one-on-one with an attacker. He wouldn’t calculate to prevent the Catalans from conceding either.
Just like against Real Betis, inconsistency has been Dest’s major deficiency at Barcelona. The defender has brightened up some games. In others, he has been insignificant. All these are what Xavi might have considered, along with the fact that he isn’t familiar with the club’s style of play. The manager is said to prefer Oscar Mingueza at right-back and may even decide to start him ahead of the former Ajax player in the next games.
But there is a reason Barcelona and Xavi need to give Dest more time. There are a lot of positive aspects to Dest’s style of play compared to his few weaknesses, which are inconsistency and physicality. As a utility player, there is no position the 21-year old can’t play on either wing. At some points, he has been used as a left back and performed well. When Barcelona also had no winger available, the defender also fitted as a right-winger. There aren’t many players in modern football that are more dynamic. Losing a player like Dest will definitely be a huge loss.
Moreover, there are many things the right-back is good at. This season, Dest’s creativity has resulted in three assists in the league, only behind Jordi Alba, who has four. He also has an eye for goal and could upset the defence to create chances for others.
Dest is still raw and needs a huge amount of time to become one of the best. The young defender is a special player who hasn’t coped well with his current environment. But that doesn’t mean he can’t be groomed to suit Barcelona’s style. The Spanish club have found it difficult to get the right replacement for Dani Alves, who has returned to the club. Dest has been the closest to showing the replicative signs of the Brazilian. Xavi will have to trust him and help him realize his potential.