Wednesday. 17.04.2024

Xavi has reiterated his "absolute confidence" in Ferran Torres.

Barcelona signed Spain international Torres from Manchester City for €55million in December ($62 million).

The 21-year-old had managed just four Premier League appearances for City in the first half of the campaign, scoring twice, as he suffered a fractured metatarsal while on international duty in October.

Torres has yet to score in three LaLiga starts for Barca, though he netted from the penalty spot to salvage a 1-1 home draw with Napoli in the Europa League on Thursday.

Yet that was the only one of the forward's nine attempts to hit the target as he passed up a series of glaring opportunities, appearing to be close to tears at full-time.

In six games in all competitions so far, Torres has scored twice, with those strikes coming from both of his shots on target. He has failed to trouble the goalkeeper with his other 15 attempts.

Xavi, however, said after Thursday's game that he was sure Torres would find form soon, and ahead of Sunday's clash with Valencia in LaLiga, the Barca great reaffirmed his stance.

"We talked," Xavi told a news conference when asked about Torres. "There is absolute confidence in him. He is great and will be even greater.

"It is not blind confidence in him. He will make a difference. I have no doubts."

Torres has been thrust straight into Barca's line-up, with Memphis Depay having not featured since playing in the Supercopa de Espana defeat to Real Madrid on January 12.

'Waiting' for Depay

The Netherlands forward, who has eight goals to his name this season, is now nearing a return from a hamstring injury, though.

"We are waiting for him. He is almost ready," Xavi said of Depay. 

"This week is the definitive one. He is a player who scores goals, [can play] a last pass. He will help us a lot."

Another option up front for Xavi to consider is Ousmane Dembele. Barca attempted to sell the France international in January, and the winger will leave at the end of the season.

However, Dembele has appeared as a substitute in Barca's last two matches and Xavi has confirmed he is in contention to start on Sunday.

"He could be a starter, or on Thursday [in the second leg against Napoli]," Xavi added. "When he has played, he has been involved. He is one more."

Barca have avoided defeat in their last eight LaLiga games (W4 D4), scoring in each of those matches (15 goals on aggregate), both their longest unbeaten and scoring runs in the competition this season.

Barcelona coach Xavi has 'absolute confidence' in misfiring Torres