Following Dani Alves’ decision to join Juventus during the summer, Barcelona have been left with some replacing to do at right-back for the first time since 2008 when the Brazilian was recruited from Sevilla.

Aleix Vidal is the man filling the void at the moment, but it is becoming apparent that the 27-year-old is inferior to his predecessor.

At his best, Alves was a reliable right-back, an extra midfielder when his team had the ball and a right-winger when the ball reached the final third.

He did not only have stamina and speed to show off; his tactical awareness was very useful and that was key to his three-position style.

During his latter years at the Camp Nou, the Brazilian lost some stamina and pace which saw him appear more often in the build-up to defensive mistakes. Alves still had the right instincts, but his legs were not the same.

Vidal on the other hand, is at best, two-thirds of the player Alves was. The Spaniard is indeed quick, hard-working and he does have the stamina to last 90 minutes.

He is also aware of when to run forward but unfortunately, that is all he can offer. Vidal lacks the tactical discipline of Alves which saw the Brazilian get away with a lot of 50/50 calls from the referee.

He constantly loses duels against wingers who throw him out of position with their threat and even when he manages to catch up, he goes on to lose another duel.

Vidal simply does not seem to know how to master tactical fouls. He either chooses to not foul at all or commits the foul in a way which usually attracts an instant yellow card.

Many would have thought he would be able to claim the right-wing role by now, but he is lacking certain qualities required in Barcelona’s 4-3-3 system which are what his under-study Sergi Roberto already possesses; good ball control, midfield experience, good instincts to feature as a winger, stamina, speed and work rate.

Playing for FC Barcelona as a full-back can be a demanding job since it is an integral part of the style of football Luis Enrique prefers.

At the moment, it is Sergi Roberto who appears to have the better credentials to become Barcelona’s first choice right-back because Vidal has been handed enough time to adapt to that role and failed to impress.

Samuel SchubertPost
Following Dani Alves' decision to join Juventus during the summer, Barcelona have been left with some replacing to do at right-back for the first time since 2008 when the Brazilian was recruited from Sevilla. Aleix Vidal is the man filling the void at the moment, but it is becoming apparent...