With their hands tied due to financial constraints in the transfer market, FC Barcelona are seeing a greater involvement from their youth academy graduates in the first team. These youngsters have definitely not disappointed and are performing at a level higher than one would normally expect from players of this age group.
This season, Lamine Yamal has taken the spotlight as he is the most exciting and promising of youngster who has made his way into the first team at a very young age. However, there is another youngster, Fermin Lopez, who is also having a great season and has seen his involvement increase with the first team since the pre-season.
Lopez jumping ahead in the pecking order
As SPORT has noted, Lopez was almost the last in the pecking order when Xavi picked him for the USA tour, but only in the last two months, he has left several competitors behind.
For instance, the youngster is now seemingly above Sergi Roberto, the first captain this season, as Xavi picked Lopez instead of Roberto to replace Romeu in the clash against Mallorca.
Roberto had also not played in the game against Celta, and Xavi picking Lopez ahead of Roberto even when his team was losing gives a significant signal in regard to his priorities.
Roberto has played 174 minutes this season and can feature against Sevilla in the upcoming match, but Fermin Lopez can also have a starting spot against Sevilla with his performance against Mallorca.
Xavi impressed with Lopez
The match against Mallorca was Lopez’s third game this season with Barcelona. He still only has sixty-two minutes under his belt, but the fact that he has already scored a goal in these minutes puts the youngster in a great light.
Fermin Lopez has already pushed Franck Kessie out of the team with his performances, and Xavi was also full of praise for the Barcelona youngster after the match against Mallorca:
“Fermín is a player I particularly liked in preseason. He’s capable, has qualities, scores goals, and has hunger… Today, one of his goals earned us a point. He’s dynamic and can be very useful for us.”
Thus, with his confidence rising and Xavi already trusting the youngster more than other available midfielder, Lopez can be safely expected to be more involved in the team’s games coming ahead.
It would be interesting to see whether he gets minutes against Sevilla with both Frenkie de Jong and Pedri out with injuries and other starting midfielders also accumulating significant minutes.