Following his poor outing against Bayern Munich, Sergio Roberto has been heavily criticised by fans and media.
At the same time, he remains committed to the club and is arguably among the most successful La Masia graduates of the past decade.
Let’s take into account all the positives and negatives regarding his Barcelona stay.
He’s still a quality box-to-box midfielder
This is what Ronald Koeman has proved again at the very beginning of the season when Roberto scored twice.
Sergi Roberto’s best role on the pitch is being a dark horse. When no one expects him to make a run inside the box or to shoot from distance, he delivers.
As a central midfielder, Roberto helped us win some really big games, like the famous 6-1 comeback against PSG or the 3-2 Clasico in 2017 when his epic run was followed by Leo Messi’s on-the-line strike.
He still cares about Barca
After providing some average outings at the end of the last season, Roberto picked up an injury and wrote emotional message about his mental struggle that are possibly rooted in his mother’s death in 2019.
Maybe this is something he still can’t get over.
He’s eager to take pay cut
While reportedly being unhappy about other contract terms, Roberto isn’t against decreasing his wages and following the example of other Barca captains.
His versatility is overrated
It’s fair to say that Roberto has never really succeeded as a wing-back, and the Bayern game was another painful example of it.
Firstly, Sergi’s speed isn’t out of the ordinary. Secondly, his decision-making is quite poor as he often prefers to make a pass back instead of developing a counterattack. Thirdly, he rarely takes risks.
Since the Luis Enrique times, Roberto has sometimes been tested as a wing-back and it just never really paid off.
He’s poor defensively
When Koeman put Roberto in the second half of the Levante game last season, he was partly responsible for the three goals conceded. Again, Sergi played at right-back and struggled to properly mark players and win aerials.
There are plenty of other examples of him being a liability at the back. Against Liverpool at Anfield, he was a defender too.
Other clubs could suit him better
Manchester City, for example. I’m sure that Pep Guardiola would love to have a Zinchenko-like player who loves to be here and there.
The 29-year-old could actually be a decent benchwarmer option, and, given that Pep Guardiola loves rotating his squad, Sergi would certainly gain some game time