How Barcelona missed out on one of Spanish football's hottest prospects

Martin Macdonald
Who is Yeremi Pino? The Villarreal wonderkid set to take on Man Utd in the Europa League final

Barcelona are attempting to sign as many young players as possible for nominal fees due to their current financial situation.

Last season Pedri arrived from Las Palmas to enormous success, while Yusuf Demir and Emre Demir have both signed in recent months.

This tactic of targeting young talent will continue as the Blaugrana are not able to spend big money on transfers.

Though the likes of Pedri present an exciting view of the future, there are indeed players they have missed out on, like young Villarreal wonderkid Yeremi Pino, who is set to sign a bumper new contract with the club after impressing over the past 12 months.

Like Pedri, Pino cut his teeth with Las Palmas before earning a move to La Liga with the Yellow Submarine.

When Pino was 14 years old, most of the top clubs in Spain were after him, and Barcelona at that time believed they had won the race for his signature.

A transfer to La Masia was agreed upon, but Villarreal popped up at the eleventh hour with a better offer and so Pino moved there instead of Catalunya.

With Pino now a full member of the Spain first team squad, also, the failure to get the winger remains a regrettable negotiation for Barcelona.

The Blaugrana are still interested in bringing him to Camp Nou, according to Mundo Deportivo, but he would now cost in excess of €30 million which they are not prepared to pay currently as they had him in their grasp as a youngster.

How good is Yeremi Pino?

The fact Barcelona were so keen to sign him in his mid-teens does provide an indication of the type of player he is and his potential quality.

After impressing in pre-season ahead of the 2020/21 season, he made his debut in the Europa League against Sivasspor in October before making his La Liga debut that same week in a 0-0 draw versus Cadiz.

Though he has started just 20 La Liga matches, he has contributed a lot as including appearances from the bench he has featured on 346 occasions – a very commendable amount for someone so young.

He has started to feature more regularly for the first team in 2021/22, starting eight games, scoring one goal and recording three assists.

Pino is blessed with a cracking burst of pace but his best ability is probably his incisive dribbling as it allows him to often get into positions inside the box to score.

Though he has primarily featured on the right this season, he can play at left wing or even through the middle.

“Yeremy stands out for his character,” Villarreal Under-23s assistant coach, Nando Martinez strong, explained to El Pais.

“The more difficult the challenge, the more able he is to demonstrate his potential.

“He maintains the essence of when he played on the street as a child. In addition, he lives for football, and every day ensures he has the right complementary training, nutrition and rest.

“Yeremy has been, and is, a blessing for his coaches.”