Looking at Barca’s financial situation at the moment, surely adding extra players to the wage bill is not really a business savvy thing to do. This is especially when Lionel Messi is yet to be registered as a Barca player for the upcoming 2021/2022 season.
But, after watching Austrian prodigy Yusuf Demir play, you may begin to understand the philosophy behind such purchase. Sooner or later, Barca’s golden age championed by Lionel Messi is going to phase off but FC Barcelona will continue to be.
Therefore, it’s not rocket science that the club is currently rebuilding the team, and La Blaugrana as always is catching the exceptionally good young ones that are not in their academy to patch up. It started with the introduction of Ansu Fati and Araujo before Pedri was snatched up last season.
But, it wasn’t just Pedri who blew up last season. A big case can be made for Oscar Mingueza and Ilaix Moriba. Mingueza exploited his one opportunity and solidified his place in the first team, making himself a mainstay in the squad with his exceptional defensive skills and technique.
He is brash, able bodied and is willing to do everything he can to dispossess an opponent. In some quarters, most people think he is the natural heir to replace Busquets as a defensive midfielder.
Ilaix has also did well for himself last season, prompting contract renewal talks. But, it does seem his own progress is beginning to be a hindrance to his future development and stay with the club.
According to reports, his new agents are demanding for upgrade in his earnings and probably don’t seem to care about Barca’s financial mess at the moment. Reason is not far-fetched, other clubs are calling and are ready to triple his current wages at Barca if he jumps ship.
While his contract saga rages, other Barca B youngsters are stepping up. Since his introduction as part of the preseason team, Gavi has literally lit up the pitch each time he stepped into it. Many are already calling him the next Iniesta or Xavi, whichever you choose to go with. But, Gavi is not the only youngster stealing the show since the friendly matches started last month.
New signing, Demir has been unplayable each time he takes to the field. Watching him play, only one person will quickly jump to your mind due to similarities in playing style.
So far, he has scored twice but that is not all. The youngling can quickly surge forward with the ball at quick busts, leaving his markers for dead. Against Stuttgart, he did it so perfectly that even the opposition players were afraid of marking him at some point in the game.
His ball control is superb, and he sure can play sweet passes. During the match yesterday vs Stuttgart, he did lob a ball over to Memphis Depay in Messi style, freeing up the Netherland striker inside the opponents 18 yard box. It’s a shame the ball went to waste – it could have been the perfect assist for a wonderful outing by the young lad.
But, what is more pronouncing about his end game play is the ability to make himself available at the right place and time. Expectedly, his positional awareness technique has helped him score two goals so far in the preseason matches played. Of course, his game play is not lost on Koeman too.
Having helped Ilaix, Pedri, Oscar Mingueza and Araujo solidify their place in the first team last season, Ronald Koeman seems to be continuing the tradition. He has featured Gavi, Rey Manaj, Demir and Collado in all games so far. So, expect them to get regular features this season.
But more especially, Demir may be making a fast upgrade to the first team if he continues to put out this type of performances. With Messi by his side, the sky may only be Demir’s starting point. However, let’s not exaggerate his potentials. We all know how Bojan Krkic turned out.
The 18-year-old was signed from Rapid Wien this summer on a one year deal with an option to make the deal permanent at the end of the loan term for a fee of €10 million.