A tough arrival, a long layoff, and not enough playing time: Vitor Roque is struggling to adjust to life at Barcelona after joining the club from Athletico Paranaense in the winter.
Since his arrival at Barcelona, the young Brazilian prodigy has yet to earn the full trust of his coach, Xavi. The Spanish tactician has given him just 75 minutes of playing time in La Liga and Copa del Rey matches against UD Barbastro on January 7 and Unionistas CF in midweek.
To make matters worse, the player known as Tigrinho was not even called on as a substitute in Barcelona’s 2-4 loss to Bilbao on Wednesday night. Xavi preferred to give young Marc Guiu a run instead. “We needed a more direct style of play, which is why we brought Guiu on instead of Vitor Roque,” Xavi said in his post-match press conference.
So why is the adaptation process so difficult?
Spanish daily Sport reports that the young Brazilian striker is struggling to make an impact in a Barcelona squad that is still searching for its identity. The report also notes that Roque’s arrival in Catalonia was delayed by paperwork issues, which meant he didn’t start training with the first team until December 29.
In addition to the administrative setbacks, Roque also took the opportunity to get married in Brazil in December. This explains in part why he didn’t arrive in Barcelona until Christmas and didn’t start training with the squad until the end of the month.
After a month without playing, let’s hope that the few minutes Xavi has given him will be enough for the young star to break through.