Ernesto Valverde has hailed Andre Gomes’ bravery for speaking out about his struggles at Barcelona and has insisted the midfielder is ready to face Chelsea on Wednesday if called upon.
“It was very brave for Andre to admit how he was feeling, especially in such a public manner,” Valverde said at a news conference on Tuesday. “As people in the football world, we are often careful not to reveal our insecurities or weaknesses, so it was a very brave act.
“But it’s nothing new and he is not the only one. It’s something which has happened to most of us. It’s something you have to face and overcome. It’s about pushing forward.”
Valverde said Gomes is able to start in the Champions League against Chelsea this week if selected with Philippe Coutinho cup-tied and a late decision to be made over Andres Iniesta’s fitness.
“Of course he is,” Valverde said when asked if Gomes is ready for selection. “It’s a question of moving forward. He has a lot of good qualities, so maybe it will be the day he gives us his best [performance].
“I know my players. I have spoken with Andre many times about many things. A coach is always there to help the players in every sense. The first thing a coach must do is help his team, to have all players at 100 percent. We are here to help and we are going to help.”
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