FC Barcelona faces a significant challenge with Robert Lewandowski’s injury. Beyond the upcoming Clásico on the 28th, immediate matches demand creative solutions in the absence of their star striker, the current La Liga top scorer. While the first team doesn’t possess a traditional number 9 apart from the Polish international, they have attackers who can adapt to the situation. Additionally, the coach might explore the talent within the youth academy to strengthen the bench. According to MD, these are the potential replacements for Lewandowski:
Xavi turned to Ferran Torres when faced with Lewandowski’s injury during the Porto-Barça match. Although primarily an attacking midfielder, Torres has recently been seen playing as a striker and has demonstrated impressive goal-scoring ability this season. He has scored four goals in 354 minutes across nine games, averaging a goal every 88 minutes. His latest goal came against Porto.
Joao Félix is another option who can play as a reference point in the attack. While he began his Barcelona career on the left wing, his history at Benfica saw him shine as a second striker. While not a pure goal-scorer, he has the ability to generate opportunities. His knack for linking up with teammates could see a return to the role of a ‘false 9,’ a position expertly played by Lionel Messi for many years. So far, Joao Félix has scored three goals and provided two assists in 436 minutes at Barcelona, averaging a goal contribution every 87 minutes.
Pau Víctor, on loan from Girona to Barça Atlètic, adds depth to the striker options. At just 21 years old, he can play as a central forward or on the left wing, offering versatility. He has already made appearances for the first team at Montilivi and is an integral part of Rafa Márquez’s tactical plans. With 4 goals and 1 assist in 540 minutes across six games this season, he contributes to a goal-scoring opportunity approximately every 108 minutes.
Diego Percán is another striker playing for Barça Atlètic. Previously with Cultural Leonesa, the 21-year-old is still adapting to his new environment at Barcelona. In the current season, he has played 490 minutes in the Primera RFEF, providing an assist. Last season, while at Cultural Leonesa, he recorded 8 goals and 3 assists in 37 matches.
Seventeen-year-old Marc Guiu, part of the youth academy, has already garnered attention. Although primarily associated with the Juvenil A team, Guiu has trained with the first team on occasion and even played a few minutes in a friendly against Vissel Kobe. The young striker from Sant Cugat has scored a goal in two Youth League matches. Guiu was the joint top scorer, along with Lamine Yamal, in the last European Under-17 Championship in Hungary, both with 4 goals each.
The Unfortunate Luck of Ángel Alarcón
In an unfortunate turn of events, Ángel Alarcón has suffered another injury just a couple of games after returning from a five-month injury layoff. This time, it’s a hamstring injury in his left leg, which could potentially sideline him for at least a month, although the club has not specified a timeline.
Alarcón was expected to be part of Xavi’s squad for the Granada match, especially with Lewandowski’s injury. In a recent Youth League game against Porto, he scored a sensational solo goal, showcasing his talent. This injury is a setback for him just when he was making a comeback. Last season, after five appearances under Xavi, Alarcón suffered a muscle injury that required surgery. After five months of hard work, he made his return with Barça Atlètic against Celta Fortuna. It’s another hurdle he hopes to overcome quickly.
While Lewandowski’s absence is undoubtedly a setback for FC Barcelona, the team has options to explore. Ferran Torres, Joao Félix, Pau Víctor, Diego Percán, and Marc Guiu all offer different qualities that can help fill the void. It’s an opportunity for these players to showcase their talent and step up when the team needs them the most. As the season progresses, we will see how Xavi leverages these options to maintain Barcelona’s performance and competitiveness.