Barcelona’s defensive injury crisis hit new depths on Sunday afternoon, as sole surviving centre-back Clement Lenglet suffered a nasty-looking ankle injury and had to be substituted against Osasuna.
The 25-year-old was the only fit, senior central defender at Ronald Koeman’s disposal ahead of their home clash with the Reds, and he was forced to call up La Masia product Oscar Mingueza from Barcelona B to start alongside the Frenchman.
Barça were cruising to victory with Lenglet at the heart of the defence on Sunday, until he suffered a gruesome-looking ankle injury, and seemed to be in a severe amount of pain as he was helped from the pitch.
The defender appeared to get his foot stuck in the ground and he hit the deck in serious discomfort, needing immediate medical attention from the Barça staff. He was helped to his feet and limped off the pitch without the use of a stretcher, but was in clear agony and struggled to put any weight on his injured ankle.
La Blaugrana brought on midfielder Carles Alena in his place, demonstrating the severe lack of depth in the backline. Koeman is already having to deal with serious injury problems throughout his squad, with Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti out of action with knee issues.
The Dutch coach has also had to come to terms with the loss of starlet Ansu Fati, who has been a shining light in this Barça side in recent months.
Barça will now have to wait with bated breath over the wellbeing of the reliable Lenglet, and might have to prepare for life without the Frenchman for the coming weeks at least. The return of Sergio Busquets will have brought Koeman some comfort, as the experienced midfielder has been known to fill in at the back from time to time.
It’s safe to say Koeman is not having an easy time of it in Catalonia.