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Valverde praises Barca stand-ins after opening win

Rather than discussing any impending transfers, Ernesto Valverde took the time to praise his Barcelona understudies after a first win.

Barcelona - cropped
Barcelona players celebrate Sergi Roberto's strike

Ernesto Valverde refused to discuss potential Barcelona signings as he instead praised the players who stepped up to deliver three points against Real Betis at Camp Nou.

Having lost Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record move, Barca were also without injured trio Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta and Luis Suarez.

Without any further attacking recruits, despite reported interest in Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho, Valverde saw the likes of Sergi Roberto and Gerard Deulofeu make the difference in the final third.

And he preferred to focus on these fine performances when asked about transfers following the 2-0 win, responding: "I can only talk about the players I have here."

Valverde had spoken before the game of the need for Lionel Messi to be supported without strike partner Suarez and he was pleased to see his words had been noted.

"With the losses [through injury] there are players who have to step forward and they are doing it," he said.

"We have to look for a formula to be better and find other ways that allow us to win the games."

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