Xavi failed to give 19-year-old defender a debut despite pressure from Barcelona

Date:

Barcelona's Spanish coach Xavi smiles on the sidelines prior the Spanish league football match between RC Celta de Vigo and FC Barcelona at the Balaidos stadium in Vigo on February 17, 2024.
Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP via Getty Images

Even though the team did not win any title, the 2023-24 season was still not a total failure for Barcelona, and there are several reasons why the club’s fans will remember this campaign with fondness.

One of the most prominent of these reasons is the way some players from the youth academy made their way to the very top, with Lamine Yamal and Pau Cubarsi being the most outstanding examples, while the likes of Fermin Lopez, Hector Fort, and Marc Guiu also took the next step in their careers.

Another Barcelona Atletic player who played at a very high level this season was center-back Mika Faye, but unfortunately, he was unable to make his debut with the first team.

His performances with Rafa Marquez’s team made him a compelling candidate to get some minutes with the first team, and according to a report from SPORT, the sports management of the club had also pushed Xavi to let him play in some matches in the last stretch of the season.

The sporting area not only wanted to reward him for his performances in the reserve team, but also to test how he performs playing against the first-tier sides. Thus, there was a lot of disappointment in the club when Xavi did not get him on the pitch despite calling him up for the games against Mallorca, Las Palmas, and Cadiz.

Getting Faye to play in some of the last matches of the season would have been in line with the policy that Deco had adopted since taking his post at Barcelona, i.e., making the second line of the squad from youth academy players or those from the reserve team.

With Xavi out of the club now, Faye will be looking forward to having an active role in the first team next season, especially as the club sees him as a player who can contribute in the short-term as well as in the long-term.

Flick, once appointed, will have an overbooking of center-backs in his squad, as Eric Garcia will also return from his loan, and sales from this area will have to be made.

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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