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Nelson Semedo’s performance against Osasuna is a concern for Barcelona and Valverde

This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…

Barcelona’s latest bout away at Osasuna left a lot to be desired for the Catalan giants.

After initially going 1-0 down, Blaugrana somehow clawed their way back on top with strikes by Ansu Fati and Arthur Melo but then dropped the lead late in the game after conceding a penalty.

The match ended with both teams sharing the spoils and Ernesto Valverde’s troops only getting their fourth point in three games of the new 2019/20 La Liga season. It’s safe to say that it hasn’t really been the perfect start for the defending champions.

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One player, in particular, had an awful day in Osasuna’s fortress.

Nelson Semedo started the game at right-back, just as he did in the previous two games, but he was quickly substituted off at half-time and Sergi Roberto was once again dropped to his spot to compensate. The team instantly played better, creating more chances than in the first half while also controlling the game far better, which was evident in two goals they scored after half-time.

The 25-year-old Portuguese defender really didn’t cover himself in glory in those first 45 minutes he was on the pitch. He registered the worst rating out of all Barcelona players while only tallying one single tackle with no interceptions, no clearances and no blocked shots to his name.

But that wasn’t his only flaw on the day. He was also dispossessed twice and had the team-high five bad touches to his name. For a defender who’s, if the team selection so far is any indication, set to be the squad’s go-to right-back, Semedo will have to drastically improve if he is to retain that role.

His defensive output was bad and going forward he also offered next to nothing. He registered no shots, no key passes and no dribbles, all while having the team-low passing accuracy of just 77.4%. By all accounts, his performance against Osasuna was one he will soon wish to forget along with Valverde, who was probably not too happy with the 25-year-old.

His half-time substitution might be the clearest sign that his place in the starting XI has been jeopardised by his latest performance and, unless he improves drastically and rather quickly, we could see Roberto return to the right-back position and Semedo relegated to the bench.

If this trend continues, he just might become a major concern for Valverde.

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Article title: Nelson Semedo’s performance against Osasuna is a concern for Barcelona and Valverde

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