Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino has indicated that Ibrahim Afellay will not be allowed to leave the club in January.
- By Michael Bell
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The Dutch midfielder has only just returned to training for the first time this season after a muscle injury, and was expected to be loaned out of the club in January.
However Martino has indicated to various media outlets in Spain that he has been impressed by Afellay, and he will stay at the club.
Martino said of Afellay, “He’s a quality player. I rely entirely on him for the rest of the season.”
Since joining Barcelona from PSV back in 2011, Afellay has constantly suffered injuries, which have seen him only make 33 appearances for the La Liga giants over three seasons.
During last season, Afellay spent a spell on loan with Schalke, but that was cut short by a knee ligament injury after the 27-year-old made only ten appearances.
Afellay has been a regular in the Dutch national side when fit, but if he is unable to force his way into the Barcelona first team, a spot at next Summers World Cup seems unlikely.