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Andre Gomes can play in Busquets role, insists Luis Enrique

4:11 AM GMT+4 10/12/2016
Andre Gomes - cropped
The Euro 2016 winner has so far failed to set the world on fire after moving to La Liga, but his coach believes the best is yet to come

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has defended Andre Gomes following the Portugal international's underwhelming start to life at Camp Nou and feels the 23-year-old has the characteristics to play a role similar to that of Sergio Busquets.

Gomes has featured in a number of positions since his big-money move from Valencia to Barcelona, but has yet to really live up to the high expectations.

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Luis Enrique sees no reason for concern, though, and tipped Gomes to become adept at playing a holding midfielder role, similar to Busquets.

"When we play Gomes in the pivot role, he shows that he is quite capable of playing in that position," the Barcelona coach said at a news conference.

"His best position is in the middle, because of his ball control, piercing runs and good kick, but he can also play a supporting role, so he's a useful resource to have.

"It's good both for the team and the players to have such versatility and especially in midfield because of the way Barca play, it helps with our passing game, for creating chances and for generating pressure."

Sergi Roberto is another player whose versatility has earned praise from Luis Enrique.

"Sergi Roberto gives us different options; he's a great utility player," Luis Enrique added.

"We designed a squad this year so that he can play more as a full-back, but that does not stop him from playing in other positions."