Barcelona have talent to replace Pedro, Xavi, says Bartra

Barcelona will miss forward Pedro and midfielder Xavi following their recent exits but the Spanish and European champions have plenty of talent to replace them, defender Marc Bartra said on Friday.

Reuters| Last Updated: Aug 21, 2015, 18:56 PM IST
Barcelona have talent to replace Pedro, Xavi, says Bartra

Barcelona: Barcelona will miss forward Pedro and midfielder Xavi following their recent exits but the Spanish and European champions have plenty of talent to replace them, defender Marc Bartra said on Friday.

Pedro, who had limited playing time last season, wrapped up a move to English Premier League champions Chelsea worth around 30 million euros ($33.9 million) on Thursday, while Xavi called time on a glittering Barca career and left for Qatari side Al Sadd at the end of last season.

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Pedro`s departure has prompted suggestions that Barca coach Luis Enrique could be short on effective options in attack, especially if Lionel Messi, Neymar or Luis Suarez pick up an injury.

Youth academy graduates Sandro Ramirez and Munir el Haddadi will be expected to take their chance to shine but the situation has been compounded by a FIFA transfer ban that means Barca cannot register any new players until January.

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"They (Pedro and Xavi) gave us a great deal and we will miss them," Bartra told a news conference ahead of Barca`s opening La Liga match at Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

The Catalan club would continue to rely on a mix of homegrown talent and top players brought in from outside, Bartra, a Spain international, added.

"Teams like Barca have this advantage: very good players leave and others arrive who adapt to help us in competition and so that we have a good level," Bartra said.

"When you have effective academy graduates together with the best in the world from outside the level is unbeatable."

Barca, chasing a sixth La Liga title in eight years, are looking to bounce back from a chastening 5-1 aggregate defeat to Bilbao in this month`s Spanish Super Cup.

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They have brought in Turkey playmaker Arda Turan from Atletico Madrid and versatile Spanish fullback Aleix Vidal from Sevilla since winning the treble last term but neither can play until January.

FIFA, soccer`s world governing body, sanctioned Barca for breaking rules on the transfer of foreign under-18 players.