KEY POINTS

  • Barca monitoring Messi's health
  • Barca needs to find Messi help in the attack
  • Messi allegedly comfortable despite spat wtih sports director

Barcelona FC is in dire need of an attacker although Lionel Messi seems to be holding up pretty well. Regardless, the Catalans know that overworking the Argentine star is not the way to go and looking out for his health is a must. And it appears that head coach Quique Setien has that in mind.

Reports surfaced that the 32-year-old forward was playing through pain. But Messi is someone who knows himself better, meaning he could suck it up and perform to help his team win. Add to the fact that Barca is lacking options in attacks, something that could be pivotal as they try to defend their Liga title. Up next for Barcelona is Getafe, a match where Messi could rest. But it appears Setien has other things in mind in this response to reporters via Forbes.com.

“If Messi is on the field it is because he can be.  It is possible that at some point we will have to rest him, but I do not spend so much time evaluating that because these players are so accustomed to playing Wednesday and Saturday that they do not even need to rest. We will see," he said.

Barca is already dealing with the absence of Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele. Of the two, Suarez could make a return earlier than scheduled with reports that he is recovering ahead of schedule. Even if the Uruguayan striker returns early, there is no telling if he can be of help, given that he is coming off a knee injury. Much of this was covered in a previous post.

Looking ahead, the good news for Barca is that they were given special dispensation to sign a replacement for Dembele, Goal.com reported. Among the rumored targets include Willian Jose and Loren Moron. There is also Rey Manaj, a 22-year-old forward signed for Barca B during the last transfer window. In all, the Catalans do have options to address their lack in attack.

In another previous post, there were players who proved they could help Barca with some inspiration coming from Messi. These were Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets and Clement Lenglet. But the bottom line here is that Messi remains a key part for Barcelona. Could their fortunes change if he is kept out of action?

Messi was recently tied up to a spat with sporting Director Eric Abidal. This triggered possible transfer rumors although Argentine manager Lionel Scaloni believes Messi is comfortable at Barcelona, Sacha Pisani of Goal.com reported.