Barcelona prodigy seeing his minutes dry up after a promising start


Barcelona's Spanish forward #27 Lamine Yamal and Barcelona's Spanish midfielder #32 Fermin Lopez celebrate Sevilla's Spanish defender #04 Sergio Ramos' owngoal during the Spanish Liga football match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys in Barcelona on September 29, 2023.
Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

With all the quality additions made over the last two years and the gradual rise of some academy players, the current FC Barcelona squad is a highly competitive group.

Owing to this competitiveness, not all players can get their desired minutes on the pitch, irrespective of fans’ perception of them or even their impressive outings on the pitch.

This is definitely the case with one of the youngsters at Barcelona who was highly impressive in the pre-season, and also showed his talents during the ongoing campaign, but has seen his numbers dry up lately, i.e., Fermin Lopez.

Despite his encouraging appearances earlier in the season, SPORT notes that the midfielder’s participation with the first team has decreased to such an extent that he currently ranks 18th in the aspect of most minutes played on the pitch.

Lopez has played 1032 minutes with the first team, which is significantly below the 2935 minutes accumulated by the first-ranked player, Ilkay Gundogan.

The youngster played the last season on loan at Linares, and it was a surprise that he stayed with the first team for the pre-season. But he took full advantage of this chance, as he scored a great goal against Real Madrid in the Texas friendly, which opened the doors for him to stay and play under Xavi.

His best stretch of games came during the time when Frenkie de Jong was out with an injury, earlier in this season. During that time, he got five games as a starter on a trot, and also scored his first official Barcelona goal against Mallorca.

Since De Jong’s return, Lopez has seen his minutes dry up, even though Gavi is currently out with an injury. His last league start came in December against Almeria, and although he also started against Barbastro and Salamanca, he has mainly been used as a substitute by Xavi this year.

However, Xavi did not give him even one minute against Napoli, and unless this situation improves significantly, Lopez will have to reconsider his future at Barcelona. His current contract with the Catalan club goes till 2028, and he has a €400 million release clause.

Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari has been covering Spanish football as a writer for Barca News Network for the last one and a half year and as an amateur football fanatic for more than 10 years. He mainly covers on and off-field happenings taking place at Barcelona including transfer news, administrative changes, match reports, and any other eventful news coming out of the club.

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