Barcelona director defends Andre Gomes after criticism from fans

Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernandez defended Andre Gomes after he was criticised following the club's 4-1 win at Granada on Sunday, saying he needs more time to prove himself.

Gomes, 23, has found it tough to adapt to life at Camp Nou since joining from Valencia in the summer for €35 million plus a potential €20m more in add-ons.

Against Granada he was picked to play on the right wing, somewhere he has never featured before, although when Rafinha Alcantara went off injured in the first half he moved inside to his usual central midfield position.

Even there he had a limited impact and was replaced by Andres Iniesta as Barcelona looked to regain control in a game that might have slipped away from them.

Fernandez said: "He's done some good things and some not so good things. He's a player with a lot of quality, a player we will always say good things about.

"There are a lot of great things about him, he can bring a lot to the team. He needs more time than others. He's a player who has had a lot of chances and he will keep getting them.

"The coach has a lot of confidence in him, and thanks to his characteristics he can play in many positions."

Gomes was booed and whistled by Barcelona fans at Camp Nou against Leganes on Feb. 19, with some fans holding him responsible for the 4-0 defeat by Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League round-of-16 first leg.

Even after the club came back to win the second leg 6-1 and reach the next round, Gomes was still singled out by some Barcelona supporters, who jeered him when he came on as a substitute against Valencia on March 19, with the midfielder going on to score his first goal for the club.

"He needs to find more security for himself on the pitch," Fernandez added. "I've always said that he's a player who needs calmness [to thrive] and it's been harder for him to come here [than others]."

Of Barcelona's six summer signings Gomes has played the second most minutes in La Liga, with 1,189 minutes across 22 appearances. Only Samuel Umtiti has featured more, playing 1,413 in 17 matches.