16-year-old wonderkid continues to earn his Barcelona stripes

Date:

BILBAO, SPAIN - JANUARY 24: Lamine Yamal of FC Barcelona warms up prior to the Copa del Rey Quarter Final match between Athletic Club and FC Barcelona at San Mames Stadium on January 24, 2024 in Bilbao, Spain.
Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

There is an undeniable madness to some measures that are taken at FC Barcelona to continue competing. Given their financial troubles, however, they become understandable to a great degree. Instead of relying on external superstars, Barcelona continues to push forward their own elite products.

From even among those many talented new gems, however, one stands out by far. Already heralded as a generational talent in his own right, 16-year-old Lamine Yamal continues to light up the European stage. His recent display against Deportivo Alaves turned out to be no exception either.

As highlighted by SPORT, the La Masia prodigy provided yet another exemplary performance to match the hype around his name. Carrying forward the displays and consistency from his previous few outings against the likes of Athletic Club, Osasuna, Villarreal, and Real Betis, Yamal now adds Alaves to his list of victims.

Even though he did not manage to get a goal or assist in this game directly, his statistics do not exactly paint just how effective he was in the match. Across the entirety of the match that he played, the youngster had 57 total touches on the ball. He made a total of 24 successful passes, and only failed in completing 7.

However, that is exactly where the statistics begin to hide the merits of his attempts. The passes that he failed were ones that were rather too creative. Unlike most other players who are scared to make mistakes, Yamal actively tries to look for dangerous vertical options or even difficult chances to create.

This ability to unbalance and unnerve his opponents become very useful for Barcelona. Moreover, with his exceptional dribbling ability, one that allowed him to successfully put Alaves on the back foot time and time again, he can carve open a lot of space for his teammates to exploit.

Even with Raphinha, Joao Felix, and Ferran Torres now injured, Yamal has made sure to step up. The player, despite his young age, continues to add consecutive starts under the tutelage of Xavi Hernandez. With Vitor Roque potentially also suspended now, Yamal remains Barça’s only offensive hope right now alongside Robert Lewandowski.

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