Barcelona’s new signing Martin Braithwaite is in line to make his debut for the Catalan club in Saturday’s game at home to Eibar – but the 28-year-old will have to wait for his opportunity from the bench.
Braithwaite was signed by Barca for €18 million from Leganes on Thursday in a deal which was permitted by LaLiga outside the transfer window because French forward Ousmane Dembele has been sidelined for the rest of the season.
“I’m sure we’ll see him as a starter at some point,” coach Quique Setien said in his pre-match press conference on Friday. “It’s perhaps too early now.
“He has come here in ideal shape, but there are concepts and things which we have to explain to him and which he must understand.”
Asked if he would play against Eibar at some point, Setien said: “It’s possible.”
The Dane will start on the bench, with Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann and Ansu Fati expected to start at Camp Nou.
Dembele will not feature again for the Catalan club this season, while Luis Suarez is out until at least April after knee surgery.
Jordi Alba is also sidelined after picking up a groin strain against Getafe last weekend and is likely to be replaced by Junior Firpo on Saturday, with young left-back Sergio Akieme also called up Setien.
Barcelona possible XI: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Umtiti, Firpo; Busquets, Arthur, De Jong, Fati, Messi, Griezmann
Eibar possible XI: Dmitrovic; Arbilla, Burgos, Bigas, Cote; Escalante, Exposito, Diop; Leon, Enrich, Orellana