Barcelona SACRIFICE Dani Alves from his Europa League squad
Barcelona SACRIFICE Europa League side Dani Alves as Xavi opts for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Adama Traore and Ferran Torres over returning veteran
- Dani Alves has been left out of Barcelona’s Europa League squad this season
- UEFA rules state that only three signings from January can be added to the squad
- Barca have signed Alves, Traore, Ferran Torres and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
- Xavi chose to omit Alves, 38, despite his extensive experience in Europe
Barcelona have omitted Dani Alves from their Europa League squad after new boss Xavi was forced to sacrifice one of his four January newcomers to tackle the competition.
UEFA rules state that a club can only include three new arrivals in their European squad after the January window, and Barca have brought in a quartet of new faces during a busy transfer market.
Alves, 38, made a surprise return to Catalonia, alongside Ferran Torres, Adama Traore and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with the latter duo signing in the final days of the window.
Dani Alves has been left out of Barcelona’s Europa League squad, the club have confirmed
Only three January signings could be added to European squad after transfer window
And Xavi opted to leave Alves out of his 23-man squad for this year’s Europa League, with Barcelona expelled from the Champions League after being knocked out in the group stage.
Reports in Spain had suggested the Barca boss was leaning towards Aubameyang’s exclusion but appears to have changed his mind.
Alves’ exclusion appears to be a surprise move, with Xavi left with just one recognized right-back in Sergino Dest, while Sergi Roberto and Oscar Mingueza have previously held the position.
Traore, who joined on loan until the end of the season with a £30million option to buy, can operate at right-back if Xavi chooses to switch to a 3-5-2.
Barcelona made four additions last month, including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (above)
As a result, Xavi opted to drop Alves, despite his considerable experience at right-back
Meanwhile, Ansu Fati’s long-term injury and Ousmane Dembele’s contract with the club leaves Barca rather light in attack, explaining the inclusions of Torres and Aubameyang.
Alves has spent a lot of time with the Barcelona squad, having returned to Camp Nou in November, five years after his first stint with the Catalan giants ended. However, he didn’t sign for the club until the La Liga registration window opened on January 3.
Xavi is committed to bringing the Catalans back to the top of European football next year, and Alves’ experience would surely have been welcome given the Brazilian’s reputation as one of football’s most decorated players.
Elsewhere, Abde Ezzalzouli and Ferran Jutgla won’t be able to play in Europe as they weren’t on the B list at the start of pre-season.