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‘Frustrated’ Lewandowski backed to emulate Suarez at Barcelona after three goalless appearances

11:29 EAT 31/07/2022
Robert Lewandowski Luis Suarez
Blaugrana boss Xavi is backing a prolific Polish striker to come good and insists no messages are being sent to Frenkie de Jong amid transfer talk

Robert Lewandowski is feeling “frustrated” after failing to open his Barcelona goal account through three appearances for the Liga giants, but Xavi is backing the Polish striker to emulate the efforts of Luis Suarez – who also endured a slow start to life with the Blaugrana. With a €50 million (£42m/$51m) summer signing having previously hit 344 goals through 375 appearances for Bayern Munich, the expectation is that he will come good at Camp Nou.

No pressure is being put on a proven 33-year-old, with Barca looking for him to tread a similar path to a Uruguayan frontman that found the target on 198 occasions for them through six seasons between 2014 and 2020.

Has Robert Lewandowski scored a goal for Barcelona?

Lewandowski has figured in pre-season outings for Barca against Real Madrid, Juventus and the New York Red Bulls, but he is yet to find the target.

Xavi has said of a marquee addition: “Lewandowski is frustrated, but that is normal.

“It’s the same thing that happened to Luis Suarez when he came. He will end up scoring.”

Will Frenkie de Jong stay at Barcelona?

Having snapped up the likes of Lewandowski, Raphinha and Jules Kounde in the current transfer window, Barca are looking to bring in much-needed funds from sales.

Speculation continues to suggest that Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong could leave for Premier League giants Manchester United, with Xavi using the Netherlands international as a centre-half in friendly dates.

He insists that is not a nod towards an imminent exit, with no deal done with Red Devils from Old Trafford.

Xavi added: “I haven’t sent any signal to Frenkie de Jong. Let’s see what happens, as there is a lot of time until the 31st of August.

“Frenkie playing as a centre-back does not mean anything. It’s pre-season, and we’re trying out players in different positions. I played Nico as a centre-back and Raphinha on the left. I don’t send signals. I say things directly to the players.”

Is Ousmane Dembele ready to star for Barcelona?

Barca’s latest victory saw them overcome the New York Red Bulls 2-0 in New Jersey as Ousmane Dembele and Memphis Depay got on the scoresheet.

A France international forward has committed to a new contract this summer and Xavi is excited about what he could bring to the fold in 2022-23.

He said of a World Cup winner: “I love Dembele as a player. I trust him a lot and he knows it.

“Ever since I arrived, he is making a difference, with 13 assists last year. Now just imagine the footballer we would have if he starts scoring goals…”