Fermin Lopez’s story could inspire another Barcelona pearl


SEVILLE, SPAIN - MAY 26: Fermin Lopez of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring the teams second goal during the LaLiga EA Sports match between Sevilla FC and FC Barcelona at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on May 26, 2024 in Seville, Spain.
Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

For many years, FC Barcelona treated the loaning of players as a means to get space. This would mean letting go of players who were not a part of the club’s plans for a temporary period of time. However, this way of thinking may not just be obsolete, with Barcelona adjusting to a new formula they have set a precedent with.

Fermin Lopez, now among the most promising youngsters in world football, was once such a player that Barcelona did not see a future with. After being loaned to Linares, however, everything changed for both the Catalan club and the Spanish midfielder as he marked his return.

Stunning the entirety of Barcelona during a single pre-season, Xavi Hernandez never looked back with the player. Since then, he has not only gone on to become an integral part of the Barça first team but is now also a part of the final squad that is in Germany to represent Spain at the European Championship.

It was already expected that Fermin’s route back to Barcelona would open doors for others that were never there before, and that is exactly what is happening. As highlighted by SPORT, Ruben Cantero becomes the latest name to return from loan as he looks to establish himself again at Barcelona.

Aged 20 now, the Spanish defender has just returned from a loan at CD Calahorra, a side in the Segunda Division. Previously, Cantero was highlighted as one of the most promising players in Oscar Lopez’s Juvenil A side, and it was seen as important that he be given more higher-quality minutes at a first-team away on loan.

That is precisely what happened, and with CD Calahorra, Cantero became one of the best central defenders in the Segunda Division over the course of last season. Now, he returns to his parent club with the hope of becoming a regular for Rafa Marquez’s Barcelona Atletic for next season.

With Mikayil Faye potentially leaving, Pau Cubarsi now being a regular first-team player at Barcelona, and several other key departures, it is not hard to imagine Cantero finding a permanent spot in the team. Moreover, even the aspirations to potentially impress the Barcelona first team at some point are no longer impossible given the precedent now set by Fermin Lopez.

For now, however, it would be best for Cantero to focus on Barcelona Atletic. The player is expected to start pre-season with them soon, and his profile is one that is appreciated at the club. Capable of being a solid all-round defender who can play on either side of the center-back positions, he also has a good eye for ball progression, something that is liked a lot at Barcelona.

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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