The saviors of Barcelona? Pedri, Ansu Fati and Gavi lead the “children” in charge of saving the club

The saviors of Barcelona?  Pedri, Ansu Fati and Gavi lead the "children" in charge of saving the club

The financial problems of Barcelona have been well documented (a gross debt of 1.4 billion euros), and they had to see the star Lionel messi go free to Paris Saint-Germainas they couldn’t afford to re-sign him under a new contract this summer.

Things are not much better on the field at the moment either, as the pressure on coach Ronald Koeman has increased after two consecutive losses. Their Champions League campaign has been abysmal, with two defeats in two games against Bayern Munich and Benfica, while LaLiga are in ninth place with three wins, three draws and one loss.

But there is some hope. After the 3-0 loss to Bayern, veteran Barcelona defender Gerard Piqué told CBS: “It is what it is, right now, we are who we are … I think at the end of the day, we played with four or five young people. 18 years old. I think they compete incredible and you have to invest in them, they are the future of the club. “

Barcelona is a club that loves to train young players at their legendary La Masia academy and, although they had to let the talented Ilaix Moriba leave for RB Leipzig in the summer so far this season, 11 out of 24 Players used by Barcelona are under 22 years of age. You may have already heard of a few, like US international winger Sergino Dest or Spanish defender Eric Garcia, but what about the others?

Our scouts analyze the young people in charge of getting the Barcelona.

Pedri | 18 years | Midfielder

Barcelona needs the 18-year-old, who went from an unknown arrival of 7 million euros from Las Palmas in July 2020 to becoming a world star in 10 months. Having played 74 games in his debut season (he only missed the last LaLiga game last season and competed in both Euro 2020 and the Olympics for Spain), Pedri must be handled with care this season and has already suffered a muscle injury that has kept him out for a few games.

While he is likely to be the player who will miss Messi’s presence at Barcelona the most, given that he engages in the quick exchanges of passes that are vital to the team’s functioning, Pedri has the quality to illuminate Barcelona’s midfield in the midfield. next years.

Technically skilled, creative passer and skilled dribbler who has been compared to the great Andrés Iniesta, Pedri has the potential to become one of the best midfielders in the world.

Ansu Fati | 18 years | Forward

Almost a year after sustaining a meniscus injury, Ansu returned to the first team scoring a goal in a 3-0 win over Levante. Considered by many to be a great talent, the right winger / forward has been missed and one can only hope that, after having undergone several complicated surgeries, he will be able to return to his best level again.

It is fair to say that, before the injury, the teenager had already done enough to justify the excitement of the Catalans fans. His high-speed run, backed by a low center of gravity, makes it very difficult to snatch the ball from him. And it’s not just the dribbling, acceleration and dribbling, or the combo play in tight spaces that makes him so special, he’s also quick and skilled at making decisions on the field. Ansu’s clever off-the-ball runs make him a threat when he launches into space behind defenders.

Aside from the myriad of technical qualities, Ansu is also happy to do his part in the defensive zone. Although he will barely turn 19 at the end of the month, he seems mature, level-headed and smart enough to handle the huge expectations that rest on his young shoulders … expectations that have now risen as he inherited Messi’s number 10 jersey.

Gavi | 17 years | Offensive Midfielder

Gavi has already been compared to Iniesta and Xavi. Although such comparisons are premature, the 17-year-old, who came to Barcelona from the Real Betis quarry five years ago, has the same natural interpretation of football. His ability to anticipate the dynamics of the game is of an exceptionally high level; he always knows what his next move is before catching the ball and, when in possession, he is able to keep the ball moving with small, delicate and perfectly weighted touches.

So far, Gavi has served in a variety of positions: He started as a left winger against Atlético de Madrid, but seemed more comfortable when allowed to play in midfield, allowing him to pick up the ball deeper and thus become more involved in the game. Despite having three LaLiga games, he was rewarded with a call-up for Spain’s senior team in the Nations League last week and impressed against Italy enormously.

Alex Balde | 17 years | Defending

The left-back accumulated almost an hour of football in the first team before having to leave with a back injury against Granada. In that short period, Balde showed why he is so highly valued in the set-up of La Masia. In addition to his spectacular pace and acceleration, he is also a tenacious and determined defender with good balance and a few body feints to show off.

Although he can improve on his positioning and timing, Balde’s pace and determination often offer him a second chance to get out of trouble defensively. His promising debut suggests that he will have a much higher turnout this season once he returns from injury and Barcelona can rely on him.

Yusuf demir | 18 years | Forward

Arriving on loan from Rapid Vienna, with the option to sign him for € 10 million, the Austrian international had already been in the limelight for some time, due to his Messi-like style of play. Since making his debut for Rapid as a 16-year-old almost two years ago, Demir shone in the Austrian Bundesliga and now has the opportunity to show his skills to the only club that traditionally knows how to make the most of them.

Perhaps surprisingly, Demir has already been given a fair amount of playing time this season, primarily starting out as a right winger. With a low center of gravity, he has a nice first touch and great ball control. His excellent balance and control of his body allows him to initiate quick and deceptive changes of direction. It can appear as fast with the ball as without it.

Nicolas González | 19 years | Midfielder

Son of Deportivo La Coruña legend and Spanish international Francisco “Fran” González, “Nico” has had a bittersweet months. He made his first-team debut at the start of the season, stood out with a stellar performance in the 3-0 win against Levante, but was singled out by his coach after failing Joao Félix on his mark in the match against Atlético de Madrid a week later.

On the field as a “double number 6” alongside Sergio Busquets, González shares some characteristics with his venerable teammate: in addition to size, he has the same effort. The way to move around the field and the calm and decisive passing game.

At the youth level, Gonzalez excelled with his dynamic ball progression, often shedding his marker with a quick spin and deft touch before moving forward. Obviously, such skill is more difficult to reproduce against stars, but Barcelona have discovered a defensive midfielder who can potentially become a leader.

Ricard puig | 22 years | Midfielder

Two years ago, Puig seemed the La Masia product most likely to make a name for himself in the first team. Since then, there have been many ups and downs for the highly talented attacking midfielder. Coaches have come and gone without Puig really consolidating himself in the team, and when opportunities presented themselves, he always left something to be desired.

However, there has never been any doubt that Puig is a Barcelona product. When you are in shape, it is a pleasure to see you; excellent for finding space between lines, orderly in possession with the awareness of a well-executed move or progressive direct pass. He has been outstanding at the youth level and for Barcelona B, but when he was chosen for the first team, he struggled to prevail beyond the short flashes and now faces a decisive season in Barcelona with the appearance of Gavi and Pedri.

The Uruguayan international is not the type of defense Barcelona usually produces, but he has found a way to adapt his aggressive play at the Camp Nou. Unlike the characteristic “elegant” Barcelona central defender who plays with the ball (such as Eric García or Piqué), Araujo is not particularly comfortable with possession and, although he can make a difficult pass when necessary, prefers to work the ball in narrow areas. This is particularly evident when Barcelona play from behind.

Araujo enjoys the physical side of the game, especially a good fight with an opposing striker, and he is dominant in the air and is an attacking threat with set pieces. As seen against Atlético de Madrid, he may be overly drawn to being a forward rather than maintaining the team’s defensive form.

Oscar Mingueza | 22 years | Defending

Mingueza has made good use of his first-team opportunities and has steadily improved since his debut a year ago. Although he lacks the acceleration and attack of a modern full-back and could do with being more determined and assertive in defensive duels, he is quietly impressing with his calm and measured approach to defense.

Mingueza has enjoyed his best games with Barcelona as a right central in a line of three at the defensive level, where his skills come to the fore. The young defender, who knows his limitations and adapts his game accordingly, also showed a good degree of professionalism as he recovered after being substituted in the first half in the loss against Paris Saint-Germain. Although the culé fans are still deliberating on whether the 22-year-old should be a regular Barcelona player, he has undoubtedly deserved his opportunities and could become an excellent useful player for the club.

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