US-tour verdict: despite two defeats there is a room for optimism
The Catalans have only managed to beat Tottenham on penalties having lost to both Roma and Milan. However, Marca writer Ramiro Aldunate believes there are reasons to remain positive.
First of all, the new arrivals have impressed a lot.
'The signings have looked the part with Lenglet, Arthur and Malcom all suggesting that they will be able to boost the team. Lenglet was solid defensively and assured, Arthur has surprised at how quickly he has adapted possibly because the passing football is the style he was brought up with, and Malcom has been direct and incisive on the wings.'
What about the reserve players and the backups? Aldunate assesses their performance and speculates on their future at Barca.
'Munir appears to be ahead now of Alcacer in the pecking order. Before the tour he looked like he was on his way out but since then he has been given a new deal and is the first option to replace Suarez. It suggests that Alcacer could now be the player to leave but that could all change if Sevilla continue to pursue Munir.'
READ ALSO: Alcacer is on his way to England
'Rafinha has impressed Valverde and the coach now has to decide whether to loan him out again while in defence Miranda and Cucurella have options to play in the first team following Digne's departure. Miranda has the bigger chance to step up having played two of the three games in the US and fits in well with Barcelona's style with his willingness to get forward.'
Moreover, Aldunate also praises Sergi Roberto who acted as a captain during the whole tour.
'Sergi Roberto's growing importance to the team was shown again and he had more of a leadership role with many of the bigger names from the squad missing. He is an example to some of the players coming through of what is possible with his own progression from the La Masia.'
The fans are loving Roberto's new role as well.
Finally, the writer couldn't miss an opportunity to heap praise at the talented youngster, Riqui Puig.
'Riqui Puig is the big hope from the La Masia with his performances and he is forcing the hand of Valverde to give him a chance in the first team.'
READ ALSO: Riqui Puig grabs all the headlines
As a conclusion, Aldunate reveals some tactical nuances and the only negative outtake from the US-tour.
'In terms of style, it appears as though Valverde has not turned his back for good on the 4-3-3 formation but the test will be in the Super Cups whether he will return to a 4-4-2. Perhaps the most worrying aspect for Barcelona has been their cutting edge as they have struggled to convert possession into goals but the return of Messi, Suarez and Coutinho will likely change this.'
The fans are also looking forward to the arrival of the stars.
Do you agree with this opinion? Are you more optimistic or pessimistic following the US-tour?