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Alves Excluded From Barcelona’s Europa League Squad As Aubameyang, Traore Make Cut

Alves Excluded From Barcelona’s Europa League Squad As Aubameyang, Traore Make Cut

Dani Alves has been excluded from Barcelona’s Europa League squad with new signings Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Adama Traore making the cut.

The LaLiga giants were forced into making a decision on Alves who became the first signing of the Xavi Hernandez.

The club then confirmed the arrival of the Brazilian before completing the signing of Ferran Torres from Manchester City.

Barca were not finished there in the January transfer window as they secured the loan signing of La Masia graduate Adama Traore from Wolves before clinching the signing of Aubameyang.

That quartet of arrivals has transformed Xavi’s Barcelona, but let them with a dilemma over their European squad – as one of the new signings had to be excluded from the squad.

Xavi has to prepare his side for the Europa League knockout stages after the club crashed out of the Champions League group stage.

In December, Xavi pledged that the club will return to the level of Europe’s elite in a year from now and wasted no time in delving into the transfer market.

Yet one of those new arrivals, Alves, has been excluded from the squad who will participate in the remainder of their European campaign.

The decision came after days of discussion between Barca’s coaching staff over which of the four signings should be excluded.

Article 46 of UEFA’s regulations states that from “the knockout round play-offs, a club may register a maximum of three new eligible players for the remaining matches in the current competition.”

Sergino Dest is the only other recognised right-back in Xavi’s squad, although central defender Oscar Mingueza and midfielder Sergi Roberto have previously been deployed in the position – to varying degrees of success.

Furthermore, Barca may switch from a 4-3-3 system to a 3-5-2 formation which would mean three central defenders could play and Traore could be used as a wing-back.

The club thought compelled to include Traore due to his tactical flexibility along with both Aubameyang and Torres, not just due to their status but because of other injuries in attack.

Ansu Fati has had his season derailed by multiple injury issues while the ongoing contractual issues surrounding Ousmane Dembele may mean his game-time is restricted.

It is understood that Xavi and his coaching team explained the decision to Alves after training on Wednesday morning.

Barca face a testing Europa League clash against Napoli – with the winners progressing through to the Round of 16 of the competition.

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