Barcelona were one of the heavy spenders in the summer transfer window. They brought in the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha to strengthen their attack. Xavi was concerned with the defensive options he had with him and decided to buy more defenders in the transfer window. He bought in the likes of Andreas Christensen, Jules Kounde, Hector Bellerin, and Marcos Alonso. However, the former Barcelona player hasn’t experimented a lot in the team and has given a lot of chances to the youngsters. One of the players who has been a part of Xavi’s plans is Barcelona’s Uruguayan defender, Ronald Araujo. The 23-year-old is highly regarded within the team and is regarded as one of the world’s top upcoming defenders. We now look at some of the stats of the player that show why he is the first choice under Xavi.
Ronald Araujo has become the first-choice centre-back in LaLiga for Barcelona. The player has started in all six games played this season. He can play as a makeshift right-back, but Jules Kounde has taken over that role from Araujo. The above viz shows the defensive territory of the player, and it shows that Araujo has only committed two fouls this season. He excels at winning ground-level defensive duels, having won 82.1% of them. In addition to this, Araujo has won 62% of his aerial duels and 64.7% of his loose ball duels. The player is very confident while challenging for the ball and doesn’t go in recklessly.
Adding to his defensive abilities, the defender can also recover the ball in crucial areas. He averages 7.83 recoveries per 90 minutes and 14.3 have been made inside the opposition half. The above viz shows all the recoveries that Araujo made in the attacking half. These include six counter-pressing recoveries and one dangerous recovery. Ronald Araujo doesn’t play a very high line and the recoveries are made near the half line.
Ronald Araujo had decent passing stats for the season. The defender averages 48.9 passes per 90 minutes with an 89.5% accuracy rate. These passes include 8.3 passes to the final third, with a 77% accuracy rate. Most of the passes were attempted while playing as a centre-back, and the other passes were played while featuring as a right-back.
The Uruguayan is the future of Barcelona’s defence. Xavi is building a team that can win trophies this season and in the coming seasons. He has a lot of youngsters in the team and they will look to get the best out of him. It looks like Ronald Araujo has made a good impression on the manager with his ability to defend the goal. He is likely to remain Barcelona’s first-choice center-back in LaLiga.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine