Valverde to keep Aleix Vidal… out of obligation


Barça manager plays down importance of incident Luis Suárez was involved in during Alavés clash

Ernesto Valvede said during his press conference ahead of tonight’s Copa del Rey semi-final first leg against Valencia tat not only will Aleix Vidal not be leaving Barcelona, but that he will also become a key member of the squad. “There’s been a lot of speculation about him, but he is a player who contributes regularly, even though he is not always a starter. He did start in both games against Espanyol. Bearing in mind that Arda, Rafinha and Deulofeu, who all play in that position, have left, it is good that he is staying”, said the Basque coach.

He also spoke about the departure of Gerard Deulofeu: “He was really up for it when he came back. He has had chances to show what he can do, but things haven’t turned out as well as had been hoped. We’ve spoken with him and we’ve seen that the best thing for him was to go somewhere where he will get more playing time. This is especially so given that there is a World Cup coming up and he could be an alternative.”

On the subject of tonight’s game, he said that Sergio Busquets “is going to be recovered”, but not André Gomes, whose condition is “more complicated”. It will, in any case, be a very important game: “When you are in a semi-final, you have to come out and play. This is not because you are better off or worse off in the league, but because you are one step away from the final. Valencia will be doing exactly the same. Reaching finals is not something that happens every day, and you have to take advantage of moments like this”, he said.

He also referred to the controversy Luis Suárez was involved in during the most recent game, and played down its importance. “Luis gives his all out on the field, and in the same way that he presses and fights, they also put him under pressure. Nowadays, when there are cameras everywhere, nothing can be hidden, but it strikes me as just one more of those situations that come up on the pitch”, he said.