Sergi Roberto can replace Thiago, says Xavi

The experienced midfielder has hailed the Spain Under-21 starlet's potential and has high praise for "dynamic" coach Gerardo Martino
Xavi believes that Sergi Roberto has what it takes to fill the void left by Thiago Alcantara following his transfer from Barcelona to Bayern Munich this summer.

The 21-year-old has made just three senior apperances for Barca and has mainly been plying his trade with the B side so far, but Xavi has backed the starlet to step up to the plate following Thiago's decision to reunite with Pep Guardiola at the Allianz Arena.

"Time will tell whether Thiago's transfer to Bayern is a mistake," the experienced midfielder said at a press conference.

"He has extraordinary talent, but he has decided to leave.

"We’ve lost one of our future stars, but there are others, like Sergi Roberto."

Xavi then went on to discuss the appointment of Gerardo Martino as the Blaugrana's new head coach and admits he has been hugely impressed by the Argentine's attitude to the role.

"Martino is a serious, hard-working, humble person. He has a dynamic approach, with some tactical changes. We are as eager as ever and we’ll try to adapt to him as he will to us.

"Martino is able to get his winning spirit across. He wants to regain the intensity we lost towards the end of last season."