It’s powerful to look at any participant succumb to main damage in soccer, however when one as younger and as prodigiously gifted as Gavi falls, it stings that little bit extra.
The 2022 Golden Boy winner, not but turned 20, has been a fixture in Barcelona and Spain’s first-teams for simply over 2 years. In that point he’s made clear what unimaginable expertise and potential he has – however sadly, it’ll be a while earlier than we see it in motion once more.
Barcelona have confirmed Gavi has suffered an ACL tear and a few injury to his meniscus too, sustained in a world match towards Georgia. This comes only one week after Pedri returned from his fifth hamstring challenge, having missed round two months of soccer because the membership took each precaution to make sure he’s bodily prepared for soccer as soon as once more.
They’re in all probability thanking their fortunate stars they did take such warning with Pedri, as he’ll be wanted greater than ever now Gavi is out for the remainder of the season. That mentioned, Pedri and Gavi aren’t notably comparable – they share a nationality and a diminutive stature, however not a lot else.
As a result of Gavi shouldn’t be your typical playmaking Spanish central midfielder – not by a protracted shot.
Whenever you consider Spanish midfielders you consider elegant passers and opulent controllers: Xavi, Andres Iniesta, David Silva and extra. Whenever you consider Gavi, what involves thoughts? It ought to in all probability be his tenacious tackling and proclivity for fouls. That’s not a criticism – actually, what Gavi affords from an off-the-ball perspective is significant to prime golf equipment in 2023, and his skillset shall be extremely troublesome to exchange.
The sheer depth and snappiness Gavi supplies is a crucial ingredient to a workforce making an attempt to manage not solely by passing you to dying, however via tempo in midfield. He’s no slouch on the ball or from a inventive standpoint – not even shut – however the statistics paint a reasonably clear image of the place he’s most impactful.
💪 No participant has received extra floor duels than Gavi (64) in La Liga this season pic.twitter.com/ekqlofxS7J
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) November 2, 2023
This season in LaLiga, amongst gamers to have began 10 or extra video games, Gavi is joint-Sixth for tackles per 90 with 3.7, then seventh for fouls per 90 with 3.0. It’s fairly uncommon that gamers from elite golf equipment characteristic within the prime order of most of these statistics, just because prime golf equipment have a lot extra of the ball, they’ve fewer probabilities to rack up defensive actions.
However Gavi has all the time been this manner, ever since bursting onto the scene. Even when enjoying for Luis Enrique’s Spain workforce – one of the vital possession-hungry sides this sport has ever seen – he was in a position to rack up fouls like no tomorrow, complimenting his neat on-the-ball play that ensured he was nonetheless a great match for the workforce.
He performs with an depth, a hearth, and to some extent a resiliency that Barcelona lack outdoors of him. At instances he can overstep the mark, however even prime groups have to channel some degree of aggression and Gavi’s the important thing man for La Blaugrana in that sense. He riles up opponents, he crushes counter-attacks with fouls, he units a tone that opponents wrestle to take care of.
In all chance, they’ll now be with out that till subsequent season. Barcelona can nonetheless management video games through their conventional “dying by a thousand passes” technique, utilising a ludicrously gifted Pedri-Ilkay Gundogan-Frenkie de Jong trio, however they’ve misplaced a component of physicality (little as he’s) and a component of relentlessness.
With nothing in home to show to and little or no wiggle room within the switch market because of monetary constraints, Xavi should do one thing particular to compensate for this loss.