20-year-old Barcelona gem still waiting to showcase his best

Date:

BARCELONA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 12: Fermin Lopez of FC Barcelona looks on prior to the LaLiga EA Sports match between FC Barcelona and Deportivo Alaves at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on November 12, 2023 in Barcelona, Spain.
Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

FC Barcelona continue to face big problems this season in terms of their available squad depth. La Blaugrana have seen many of their greatest talents falter this season to injuries and become unavailable for Xavi to select. However, despite the openings that have thus been created, not every Barcelona player has enjoyed equally.

One particular injury that opened up a lot of chances for other players was that of Gavi. The talented ‘Golden Boy’ of Barcelona got injured while on international duty and has to miss the rest of the season as a consequence. Due to an ACL injury, he had to undergo surgery and is no longer fit for selection.

In his stead, the player that many people looked to as a possible replacement was Fermin Lopez. The Spanish midfielder was seen as the guy to take over due to his own unique blend of dynamism and technical mastery, something quite akin to what Gavi offered to Barcelona.

However, as pointed out by SPORT, that has not exactly been the case. While in terms of being used as a substitute, Lopez is only bested by the generational talents of Lamine Yamal, who has made 17 appearances coming on from the bench as compared to the 15 made by Lopez.

Yet, while being a substitute can add to the total matches played, they greatly diminish the minutes played. Even though Fermin Lopez has 25 appearances this season, a number shared by several first-team players and even beating others, his overall minutes played come to a total of 1017 minutes. This places him as seventeenth in the squad in terms of total minutes played, still at the level of a basic substitute.

His last starts came in the Copa Del Ray, but his last starts in La Liga and the Champions League arrived in December of last year. Since then, the player has only started in the Copa Del Ray, and has failed to take over from Gavi in the way that many had originally hoped for him to be able to do.

After his initial impression this season, with a fantastic goal and assist against Real Madrid in preseason, the player was thought to be an elite revelation. While his talent has stayed consistent, his participation has not.

For this reason, the player continues to have patience, and while there are players ahead of him in the hierarchy, he continues to provide danger and dynamism whenever he appears.

Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun is a life-long fan of FC Barcelona and an avid enjoyer of all things Blaugrana. Having fallen in love with the club for the way they defined football for him, he now spends his time watching games, analyzing the happenings in them, and digesting any and everything related to his beloved Catalan club. He also writes as an author for Barca News Network hoping to deliver the latest updates to his fellow ‘culés’.

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