Embarrassing Vitor Roque mess reveals Barcelona transfer failures


We often forget in the hubbub surrounding Vitor Roque that the player is only 19 years old.

At a club like Barcelona where the pressure is relentless, you have to be a very special teenager to take a look, and for all his brilliance in the Brasiliero for Athletico Paranaense, La Liga is a completely different ball game.

Long before 'Tigrinho' signed for the club, the rumors among culiers were that Vitor Roque was the answer to Barca's prayers, but what did they base this opinion on?

Youtube? Hearsay?

Xavi has had his criticisms – notably from the player's agent Andre Cury – for not playing attacker often enoughbut it seems obvious that he is not yet at the level of a Barcelona player.

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This certainly raises the question of why there was an urgency to bring him in, and at the expense of Xavi's ability to adequately replace Sergio Busquets.

Indeed, this highlights Deco's position in the entire transfer process. The Portuguese has not covered himself in glory in his new role as sporting director, and it is not unfair to suggest that he is merely Joan Laporta's lackey at this stage.

If the club's former midfielder genuinely believed that Vitor Roque was exactly what the first team were looking for, one has to wonder what he saw that not everyone else did?

Far be it from me to wonder if this was another deal in which some hands were greased to ensure it crossed the finish line.

Aside from electric pace and an occasional eye for goal, at this stage of his career Vitor Roque does not possess the skill set that could be described as comparable to a player whose transfer fee amounted to A significant 40 million euros.

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Can he justify it in the future? Potentially. Hopefully. However, patience is currently lacking at Barcelona and Xavi is unwilling to give Vitor Roque the minutes he will need to try and prove himself.

And don't forget that the Barca boss seemed quite impatient for Vitor Roque to arrive. He said in January: “It’s hope for the team. He's a very good recruit and I think he can bring us a lot. So many positive things come to mind that I don't have time to think about the alternative. Work, goals, sacrifices… He is a player who attacks space.

Still, Xavi seems to want players ready to go to war and make a change in the trenches now, and to that end he has clearly decided to leave Vitor Roque on the bench in favor of more experienced options.

This clearly won't win him any popularity contests, but if Barca are still looking to win football matches, then it's the right move – for now.

A disconnect between manager and sporting director is perhaps more concerning and potentially hints at the amateur transfer processes and working methods that take place behind the scenes.

If this continues this summer, expect more of the same next season – and don't be surprised to see Vitor Roque fired either.

What a mess…

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