Xavi says Barcelona will ‘take things slowly’ with new signing Vitor Roque

By Sports Desk January 03, 2024

Barcelona boss Xavi maintains the club will not expect too much too soon from teenager Vitor Roque.

The 18-year-old Brazil forward has been training with his new team-mates after arriving in Catalonia to complete a 40million euro (£35m) move from Athletico Paranaense but has yet to be officially registered with LaLiga.

Xavi, though, played down suggestions of any complications over Barcelona’s financial fair play restrictions and suggested Roque could be involved for Thursday’s match at Las Palmas.

Barcelona put a buy-out clause of 500million euros (£432m) in his long-term contract, which runs until June 2031.

Xavi, though, insists Roque will be given the time needed to establish himself in the side.

“The registration process is the only thing missing. He will be in the squad list. We hope to have him available (for Thursday). I imagine it’s a question of hours,” Xavi said.

 

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“We will take things slowly with him – he is only 18 years old and we can’t shoulder too much responsibility on him.

“He is doing well, is eager and has adapted very quickly to the group and to training, but we will be cautious.”

Barcelona resume LaLiga action away in the Canary Islands following the international break sitting fourth, some seven points off leaders Real Madrid and Girona.

Defender Inigo Martinez is closing in on a return from a thigh problem, so could feature in the the Copa del Rey tie at Barbastro on Sunday.

Marcos Alonso, though, is set for a spell out following surgery to help resolve an on-going back problem.

Xavi feels his players can return refreshed for the challenges ahead in 2024.

“The team has come back very well,” Xavi told a press conference. “There’s no need for words, now it’s time to show it on the pitch. We want to find continuity in our play and results.

“I see how they train, what they are capable of, we have done it with most of them. I am convinced (we can win trophies) and I am very excited to start this year.”

Las Palmas manager Garcia Pimient admits it will be somewhat strange to come up against his boyhood club, having been sacked from his role in charge of Barcelona B in June 2021 – but will have the team fully focused for the challenge.

“It is a special match because I was there for many years. I don’t know how I will feel,” Pimient told a press conference.

“A lot of time has passed since that moment. I have not contacted (Barcelona president) (Joan) Laporta again because I want to thank him because thanks to his decision I am here.”

Pimient added: “We prepared for the match knowing that we would be without the ball for a longer period.

“It will be difficult for us, but we have to be brave and be champions – if we retreat, we will not achieve anything.”

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