Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez has, on Saturday, provided an insight into the lack of game time afforded to midfielder Franck Kessie over the early months of the season.
Ivorian international Kessie, of course, opted to take his talents to the Camp Nou during the summer.
Following the expiration of his contract with Serie A champions AC Milan, the 25-year-old linked up with the Blaugrana, hopeful of building on the kind of form which had seen him long considered one of Italian football’s best in the middle of the park.
All told, though, Kessie’s time in Spain has since proven somewhat underwhelming.
Across Barca’s 14 outings in all competitions to date, the one-time Atalanta standout has been afforded starts in just three.
This, of course, comes amid fierce competition for places in Catalunya, with all of Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, Pedri and Gavi too at the disposal of Xavi.
Speaking to the media ahead of his side’s La Liga meeting with Athletic Club on Sunday, it therefore came as little surprise when the subject of Kessie’s woes was put to Barcelona’s boss.
Xavi, though, was understandably keen to play the subject down.
After assuring that Kessie is ‘training really well’ and maintaining a ‘professional’ attitude, the Spanish tactician backed the summer arrival at the club to soon enjoy an increase in game time: