Nelson Semedo only getting better for Barcelona

He may have only started three games for FC Barcelona, but the hype train for Nelson Semedo has already left the station.

A twelve minute cameo against Chapecoense AF in the Joan Gamper Trophy game got him his unofficial Barcelona debut, followed up by a forty minute appearance against Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup where he looked like a player getting accustomed to his teammates.

Four days later in the La Liga opener, the Portuguese defender was given his first Barcelona start against Real Betis. He hit 94% of his passes, 52 in total, and seemed to be finding his feet on the right side.

After not featuring against Deportivo Alaves, he was given another start against Espanyol in a 5-0 trouncing of the local rival. His dribbling was less purposeful, but his defending was spot-on in controlling the right side of the field and combining well with Gerard Deulofeu. He still hit 92% of his passes and landed 78 total passes while showing his speed on a few occasions.

With the start against Juventus, Ernesto Valverde has revealed that as expected, the 30 million euro new arrival from Benfica will now most likely be the starting right-back in big matches. Valverde's faith in him was rewarded as he won the battle with Douglas Costa and cut out a few Juventus counterattacks with his speed. His passing was still 88% accurate, but it was his dynamism that doesn't show up on the stat sheet that truly allowed him to show why he belongs alongside the likes of some of his teammates.

We touched on exactly how Ernesto Valverde is using Semedo to get the best out of his preferred formation in Episode 33 of 'The Barcelona Podcast'.

You can also listen to previous episodes of 'The Barcelona Podcast' on iTunes, LibsynStitcher, SoundCloud or via your preferred podcast app.

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