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5 players Barcelona cannot afford to drop

Jidonu Mauyon
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
22.53K   //    18 Nov 2017, 07:09 IST

With eleven matches played, Barcelona comfortably sit at the top of the La Liga table. A club that was recently under heavy scrutiny and written off completely has begun their season in effective fashion, winning 10 and drawing one of their top-flight fixtures to date.

Athletic Club v Barcelona - La Liga
Athletic Club v Barcelona - La Liga

They've taken many by surprise and are already on the verge of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League knockout stages, with two more matches to contest.

After their unsuccessful transfer window was followed up with premature calls of crisis and humiliation at the hands of arch-rivals Real Madrid, criticism was always going to occur.

Claims that the club was not ready to compete on all fronts though, were naive and Barça have already begun proving their critics wrong. Consistently winning, especially when they haven't been performing particularly well, is the mark of champions.

There are a set of players within the squad who have impressed with regular hard work, commitment to the cause and individual brilliance. Without them, the Catalans wouldn't be flying so high at present.

Here's an extended look at the top five players that Ernesto Valverde cannot afford to drop at present this season:

#5: Paulinho

Athletic Club v Barcelona - La Liga
Paulinho has proved his critics wrong this season, making an instant impact on the team's performances.

Barca's decision to sign former Tottenham outcast Paulinho from Guangzhou Evergrande raised many eyebrows this past summer. The Brazilian midfielder joined with an unwelcoming atmosphere surrounding the move, which was heavily criticised considering his well-documented struggles in England's top-flight.

However after just three months with the Catalan club, the 29-year-old has quickly established himself as an influential figure in Spain. Proving critics wrong with impressive and consistent displays, his presence is highly valued and one that helps Barcelona add a new dimension to their play.

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Jidonu Mauyon
ANALYST
Jidonu Mauyon is a football enthusiast from Nigeria, who writes for a lot of publications, including the likes of Sportainment, Cube Soccer, Give Me Sport, FootballXtra, and Sportskeeda. He is a great fan of Lionel Messi and he likes to write about Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester City and Liverpool. He also covers a lot of topics relating to the EPL, La Liga, Seria A and the Ligue 1. He has been doing great in the field, helping to intensify the passion for the beautiful game by sharing his opinions with his fellow soccer fans across the globe. His works have earned him recognition, notably claiming the Best Essay Writer award in the 2015 Milo Sports Writing Competition. To him, his followers are his best friends and he would go a long way to ensure that he keeps them refreshed and entertained. You love football and he does too, why not follow him so you can burn the passion together?
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