4 Barcelona players who benefited from Lionel Messi's injury layoff
For the first time in many months, Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi suffered an injury setback. The Argentine was as usual at his incredible best during a crucial LaLiga fixture against Sevilla on Matchday 9, helping Barcelona take an early 2-0 lead, only to injure his arm via a terrible fall in the 25th minute of the game.
After conducting tests on the fractured arm, Barcelona later revealed that the playmaker would miss 3 weeks of action due to the setback. This was a huge blow to the Catalan giants who had just entered into a run of difficult and decisive matches, and they couldn't have wished anything other than fitness for their mercurial forward.
However, it didn't come out all bad for the Catalan giants, as the absence of the Argentine afforded other stars the opportunity to step up.
With Lionel Messi out, a number of Barcelona players benefited immensely, standing up at crucial moments, earning the freedom to move forward, and impressing in their respective roles so much that the absence of the playmaker was barely felt at the Camp Nou.
Below we take a look at 4 of these players.
#4 Sergi Roberto
Spanish international Sergi Roberto is one of the few Barcelona players who stepped up while Lionel Messi was ruled out of action, and it was such a great experience for the Catalans to witness their own product (La Masia) taking up a more active role in the team during crucial moments.
With the Argentine out injured, Roberto made the right flank his own, fetching the ball from deep and moving it forward into the offensive zones. He was often moved from the right-back position into more offensive roles, typically featuring as both a midfielder and a right winger during El Clasico - a match in which he contributed 2 incredible assists.
The Spaniard has been at an incredible level for the past few weeks, and there is no doubt he could become more influential in the Catalan capital if these types of opportunities continue to come his way.