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The young defender believes the Mali midfielder's departure will leave a big gap in the Catalans' ranks, but nonetheless is relishing the start of the new season

Barcelona defender Marc Bartra has admitted that the club may find it difficult to cope with the departure of Seydou Keita.

The 32-year-old completed his move from the Blaugrana to Chinese club Dalian Aerbin on Sunday, and Bartra fears the midfielder's exit could prove to be a considerable blow for the Liga giants to take.

"Keita's exit will be really hard to deal with because he was a very loved and respected player in the squad," Bartra told RAC1.

The defender then went on to stress that he is eager to prove his worth at the Catalans, adding that he is not fazed about the stiff competition for places awaiting him.

"I'm not worried about new signings. Competition is something positive. I love to work hard to improve as a player and get better," he noted.

"I'm very motivated, looking forward to start with the first team. Not going to the Games means I can have a good pre-season."

Bartra has made four league appearances for Barcelona to date.

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