Christensen and Koundé are two top centre-backs, Araujo heads up the defense and Eric Garcia has stepped forward
All are ahead of the Barcelona player, who is not at his best physical level and will struggle to get minutes.
Gerard Pique faces his fifteenth season in the Barça first team since in the summer of 2008, he asked Alex Ferguson to open the door to Manchester United for him to return to Barca. Since then, that of Bonanova is the undisputed holder. This season, however, it indicates that he will lose that condition.
Pique hasn’t fully reached pre-season after finishing injured last year. The central veteran has played many games resulting in abductor longus tendinopathy in his left leg. Pique forced himself to help the team until his muscles said enough. His physical condition kept him away from the first two friendlies against Olot and, already in the United States, Inter Miami. He was created against Real Madrid playing the last half hour, repeated these last 30 minutes against Juventus and completed an entire part of the last game on American soil, against the New York Red Bulls, coming off the bench. In other words, Pique hasn’t started in any of the five games Barca have played this pre-season.
But his physical condition is not the only obstacle in Pique’s path. The factor that will take the Barcelonan away from ownership is competition in a central position. The club made a very important economic effort to please Xavi with Jules Koundé, a first-rate central defender for his physical power who comes to lead the defense. With the former Sevilla player he landed Andreas Christensen, who arrived on tiptoe but pleasantly surprised both the technical staff and the fans during the United States tour. The former Chelsea player started all four games played in partnership with Eric García.
To these two reinforcements we must add Ronald Araujo, who was presumed to be the leader of the defense after his excellent last campaign, and Eric Garcia, who in this pre-season has shown that he has taken a step forward.
Total, that at this moment, everyone is leaving in front of a Pique struggles to take advantage of the minutes.