24th July, 2019
Barcelona began their pre-season fixtures with a defeat against Chelsea in Japan on Tuesday, but there were positives to take from the performance.
The match saw the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong make their first appearances for the Blaugrana.
There were plenty of good and bad aspects for Ernesto Valverde to consider, so we’ve taken a look through them.
Barcelona’s new signing was a constant danger to Chelsea as he played in and around their penalty area. The Frenchman was up for the game and also involved Ousmane Dembele in Barcelona’s attacks.
Frenkie de Jong
The Dutchman took Sergio Busquets’ place in holding midfield at half time and showed the composure and technical ability that made him such a star at Ajax. He ended the game with a 100 percent passing accuracy (42 out of 42).
The youngster was one of the best players on the pitch for either team during the 45 minutes that he played in Tokyo. He was brave on the ball and created some promising openings during an impressive display.
If we’re going off his performance against Chelsea, it looks like the defender has left his knee injury behind. It’s great news for Barcelona fans that he seems to be back to his best.
The Brazilian was one of Barcelona’s best players in the second half as he tried to convince Valverde of his worth. The trouble is that Barcelona already have a whole host of options in his position.
Worryingly, the midfielder still looks like the player he was last season. He gave the ball away on several occasions against Chelsea and one error directly led to Tammy Abraham’s opening goal.
As he approaches his third season as a Barcelona player, Dembele is still giving the ball away far too often. He lost possession nine times in the first half but did link up well with Griezmann at least.
In an inconsistent performance, the youngster didn’t do enough to show that he can be a central defender at Barcelona. He needs more opportunities to convince Valverde that he’s good enough to stay.