Using the first training session open to media, Xavi has restated his intent to rely heavily on La Masia for talent supply to the club by calling up a number of academy players including Lamine Yamal, Ángel Alarcón, Dani Rodríguez, Chadi Riad, and Arnau Casas.
The former three are the head coach’s favorite players in La Masia, while Chadi Riad has already made his debut with the first team against Osasuna. While Hector Fort was not called up on this occasion, he has also frequently trained with the first team in recent months.
Barca News Network brings you a brief overview of these youngsters coming through the ranks of La Masia:
Lamine Yamal: Forward, 15 years (Youth A)
Lamine Yamal, with his excellent left foot and delectable technique, has already attracted the attention of some first-team players and coaching staff. He plays best on the left wing and was promoted directly from “Cadet A” to “Juvenil A” last summer, thus playing with players at least 3 years older than him.
He will be 16 years old when the summer arrives, which means he will be able to sign a professional contract. With a number of clubs already having shown an interest in him, La Blaugrana would have to move quickly to have him committed to the club for the long term.
Chadi Riad: Center Back, 19 Years (Barça Atlètic)
Chadi Riad’s character and skills have made him a leader of the defensive line for Rafa Marquez’s team, while also getting him some minutes with the first team. With his good movement and offensive ability with set pieces, the club trusts him to be a replacement for Pique as he has already departed from the club.
However, the presence of Kounde, Christensen, Eric Garcia, and Araujo make matters a bit complicated for the teenager for now.
Angel Alarcon: Striker, 18 Years (Youth A)
Angel Alarcon belongs to the same batch of players that Gavi arose from, and is believed by the club to have the greatest potential, only after Gavi himself. Ramon Planes had selected the teenager to be on the preseason list during Ronal Koeman’s time, but a knee injury kept him out of action for more than a year.
Now as he has recovered, he is expected to continue his commendable performances both as a winger and a center forward. His contract ends this summer and would have to be renewed by the club.
Dani Rodriguez: Midfielder, 17 Years (Youth A)
Having come from the Real Sociedad academy, Dani Rodriquez has broken impressively into the FC Barcelona academy. While injury has kept him off the pitch for several months, Xavi’s trust in his quality remains as before. He plays comfortably in the heart of the midfield.
Hector Fort: Winger 16 Years (Youth A)
Playing at the right back position, Fort has had a successful last season which saw him promoted from Cadet A to Juvenil A. The right back position has been a source of trouble for the first team in the last few seasons, and Xavi wants to incorporate Fort gradually into this position. His contract was renewed last summer, and the player is expected to play at Barca Atletic next season if he maintains his current form.