Barcelona are facing a defensive crisis ahead of next week’s games against Sevilla, Inter Milan and Real Madrid after Thomas Vermaelen was ruled out for six weeks. Vermaelen injured his hamstring while on international duty with Belgium and returned to Barcelona for tests on the problem over the weekend.
The club confirmed today that he will be sidelined for the next month-and-a-half, which could see him miss up to eight games. Coach Ernesto Valverde is already without Samuel Umtiti, with Barca refusing to put a timeframe on the defender’s recovery from a knee injury.
Gerard Pique and summer signing Clement Lenglet, therefore, are the only fit centre-backs Valverde has at his disposal. Barca have already conceded nine goals in eight games this season and are also suffering from a lack of depth in the full-back positions.
With just four fit defenders as things stand, Valverde may have to look to the reserve team for reinforcements. Barca host La Liga leaders Sevilla on Saturday and then welcome Inter to Camp Nou in the Champions League the following Wednesday, before hosting Madrid in El Clasico on the twenty-eighth of October.