17-year-old Barcelona defender continues to justify his selection

Date:

SEVILLE, SPAIN - JANUARY 21: Pau Cubarsi of FC Barcelona leaves the pitch following injury during the LaLiga EA Sports match between Real Betis and FC Barcelona at Estadio Benito Villamarin on January 21, 2024 in Seville, Spain.
Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

It is understood without a doubt that FC Barcelona has assets no other club can replicate. The Catalan giants may not be a financial powerhouse in the transfer market anymore, but they do still possess a different kind of strength. For Barcelona, what really keeps them relevant even now is the quality of their youth.

Developing and releasing talents that most other clubs can do nothing but envy, Barcelona continues to produce elite prodigies. The name of Lamine Yamal is already echoing around the European frontier, but it seems that another may not be too far behind.

Pau Cubarsi, aged just 17, becomes the latest of youngsters to earn Xavi’s complete trust. However, unlike his peers in midfield and attack, the pressure on Cubarsi is on an entirely different level. To make it in the first team as a dynamic attacker is one thing, but to do so as a central defender is extremely uncommon.

Yet, as Mundo Deportivo highlights, the player’s maturity and quality continues to give life to Barça’s plays. Despite his young age, his technical mastery and understanding of ‘La Pausa’ can already be seen in his way of playing. Cubarsi continues to justify his selection, and his performance against Alaves was further evidence.

Throughout the 83 minutes that he played, the 17-year-old had a total of 82 touches on the ball. This figure was only topped by Frenkie De Jong and Jules Kounde, both of whom exceeded 90 touches. Moreover, he successfully played 73 passes out of the 77 he attempted, resulting in a 95% success rate.

Even more impressive is the fact that his passes are often not just a back pass or sideways attempt. Instead, he provides great levels of verticality to this team with his intricate passes through the lines. A lot of Barça’s progressive plays were initiated courtesy of the composure of the young talent, and it helped Barcelona tremendously.

Defensively, he was no slouch either. He made a total of two recoveries and successfully completed a block. All of this was done without committing a single foul, and he also continuously put pressure on Alaves’s Samu, a player physically much superior to the young defender.

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