Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic Critical of Barcelona's Small Squad, Lack of Depth

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2020

NAPLES, ITALY - FEBRUARY 25: Sergio Busquets of FC Barcelona reacts during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between SSC Napoli and FC Barcelona at Stadio San Paolo on February 25, 2020 in Naples, Italy. (Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic were critical of Barcelona's squad planning after they were held to a 1-1 draw at Napoli in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday. 

Busquets and Arturo Vidal will be suspended for the second leg of their last-16 tie, while Gerard Pique suffered an ankle injury in added time at the Stadio San Paolo.

Per Sport, Busquets said: "We had Arturo's red card, I hope Pique's thing is nothing. We'll take [the second leg] on with what we are. We're a small squad, unfortunately the planning was like this."

He added: "We are a small squad; we don't have players of this profile to attack. We have to reinvent ourselves."

Rakitic was also asked about Barcelona lacking depth in their squad, per Marca: "Yes, but this was already known to those responsible. The solution is what it is. Those of us who are here are going to join forces because we have a very important game in the return [leg]."

Busquets was booked in the match, taking him to three yellow cards in the Champions League this season, while Vidal earned two yellow cards for fouling and clashing with Mario Rui late on, leaving Barcelona in a precarious position:

Football writer Dermot Corrigan put it in further perspective:

Barca manager Quique Setien was able to offer some hope, though, per ESPN FC's Samuel Marsden:

Pique did not appear to be moving with much difficulty as he left the stadium, either:

Even if the trio are able to recover in time for the second leg on March 18, the club's activity in the January transfer window did them no favours.

Firstly, the club banked on Ousmane Dembele's fitness after Luis Suarez was ruled out for four months following knee surgery and so did not sign another forward.

After Dembele suffered a hamstring tear at the start of February and was subsequently ruled out for six months, the club had to sign Leganes' Martin Braithwaite as an emergency recruit, and he will only be eligible in La Liga.

What's more, the club allowed Jean-Clair Todibo, Carles Perez, Carles Alena and Moussa Wague—centre-back, winger, midfielder and full-back, respectivelyto leave the Camp Nou on loan.

Under normal circumstances the quartet may not have got much game time—they'd made just 14 starts between them in the first half of the campaign—but their cover could have been invaluable during the run-in given Barca's injuries and suspensions.

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