Seven young stars who represent Barcelona's future

Martin Macdonald
Yusuf Demir signs for Barcelona

The summer of 2021 proved to be the end of an era for Barcelona as the best player in their history, Lionel Messi, left the club for Paris Saint-Germain.

Neither the player nor the club wanted that particular exit to happen, but financial constraints meant the Blaugrana had to say goodbye to Messi.

At the moment, they are now having to make do with the likes of Memphis Depay, Luuk de Jong, Martin Braithwaite, Ousmane Dembele and Ansu Fati in attack.

Fati recently made his return from a 10-month injury layoff and it is believed he will have a catalysing impact on not just the team but the whole club.

He is one of a number of players who represent the future of FC Barcelona.

Ansu Fati

Fati is viewed as the undoubted future attacking talisman of Barcelona and the heir to Messi. He made his debut for the club in August of 2019 against Real Betis to become the second-youngest player in the club’s history at 16 years and 298 days old.

He has displayed a talent and an understanding of the game beyond his years, and although his development has been halted by that serious knee injury, he will be a key member of the first-team squad for years.

That is, of course, the club can convince him to sign a new contract as his current deal runs out in the summer of 2022.

Pedri

Basically, nobody in Europe has played as much football as Pedri over the past 12 months, as he has featured for Barcelona in La Liga, the Champions League and the Copa del Rey, and for Spain in qualification matches, the European Championship and finally the Olympic Games.

Pedri, Barcelona, 2021/22

Barcelona's philosophy means that they will always have ball-playing midfielders in their ranks, and he is perhaps the closest thing the club will get to finding a new Andres Iniesta.

If Pedri continues on the same path, he will become one of the best players in the world - he is already the best teenager.

Yusuf Demir

When asking how good a young player is, any comparison to Messi will make others stand up and take notice, and although this will certainly heap pressure on Yusuf Demir’s young shoulders it provides an insight at least to what brand of player he is.

Preferring to be deployed on the right wing and cut inside, he is very much in the mould of a modern winger.

He is left-footed and one of his heroes is apparently Messi, so the inevitably unfair comparisons have already started, with Demir also a talented dribbler as well as goalscorer.

Demir is currently on loan, but Barca can exercise their right to purchase him outright in 2022.

Emre Demir

Barcelona have completed the signing of 17-year-old attacking midfielder Emre Demir from Turkish side Kayserispor for €2 million, with him joining in 2022.

Demir is, of course, not to be confused with another aforementioned youngster in Yusuf Demir, who joined the club this summer.

After initially featuring at Kuvayi Milliyespor, Demir moved to Kayserispor in the summer of 2019.

Emre Demir, Barcelona's new signing

He remarkably made his debut in the Turkish Super Lig at the age of just 15.

The young attacker soon became the youngest goalscorer in the history of the Turkish top flight.

Alberto Moleiro

Alberto Moleiro may or may not represent the future of Barcelona as he is, at the moment, not actually a Barca player.

He is currently plying his trade with Las Palmas but the Blaugrana are believed to be leading the race to sign him.

They are encouraged by how successful the deal to sign Pedri from Las Palmas has been, and hope to repeat it with Moleiro.

It is not just the fact that Moleiro plays for Las Palmas and even looks slightly like Pedri that the comparisons have started, it is because the young man already has a tendency to run games despite his lack of experience at the top level.

As well as Pedri, he has been likened to Iniesta due to his tendency to drift out to the left and utilise the space on the flank and into the centre.

Gavi

After impressing in pre-season with the first team, Gavi eventually made his senior debut against Getafe and has gone from strength to strength.

It now appears as if he is ahead of Riqui Puig in the pecking order at Camp Nou and certainly more favoured by Ronald Koeman.

Gavi, Barcelona

A typical La Masia graduate, Gavi has a supreme control over possession and has already been likened to Xavi.

Nico Gonzalez

Nico Gonzalez joined La Masia at the age of 11 and progressed through the age groups to eventually play for Barcelona B and then the senior team.

Like all players to come through the youth system, especially midfielders, he can pass the ball excellently and is calm under pressure.

As he plays a more defensive, tempo-controlling role in midfield, he has naturally been compared to Sergio Busquets and the Barcelona hierarchy believe that Gonzalez will ultimately take over from the World Cup winner in the holding role just in front of the defence.

He has already featured five times for the first team.