Analysis: Barcelona will have to weigh up Premier League interest in young loan star carefully

Barcelona are relying heavily on Jules Kounde, Andreas Christensen and Robert Lewandowski this season, which speaks to the good work carried out in the transfer market last summer. But looking through the Blaugrana’s core, the players they are relying on to guide them through the next decade are in the most part academy products or teenage signings.

Pedri, Gavi, Ronald Araujo and Alejandro Balde all look relatively settled in the side. Holding onto them seems as much of a task for the Blaugrana as ensuring they continue to fulfil their potential.

However with the exception of Balde, all of them have one thing in common. All were given their chances through opportunity. Thrust into the action in sink or swim situations, all three have taken to professional football like a duck to water.

That was the case with Ez Abde last season too, and although he was more raw, more recently signed, the Moroccan international made an impact during his brief first-team cameos. This year on loan at Osasuna – he has far more competition for places than the others now – Abde is proving that he belongs at this level.

Osasuna do not have a buy option on Abde this summer, and Relevo say that he is likely to return to the club in the summer. In June, Barcelona will have a conversation with Abde and his agent to establish the next steps.

They go on to say that Nottingham Forest are interested in making off with the electric winger too. Barcelona will seemingly consider an offer it is deemed as a good one.

However they should be careful with the idea of making a quick sale. Although the financial situation may take precedent, Abde could be of use to Barcelona.

If Abde does move on, then Barcelona may well have to bring in a replacement. With one of Ferran Torres, Ansu Fati or Raphinha likely to leave and the Blaugrana already looking a little short of depth, an extra forward will be necessary.

The Moroccan international has shown, both at Barcelona and Osasuna, that he is confident and willing to grasp opportunities that he is given. Often the pressure gets to additions at Camp Nou, particularly those that do not have much continuity.

Abde, although signed at 18 from Hercules, will be regarded as a La Masia product and thus given more time than other players by the media and crowd. Electric with his dribbling, unpredictable and hard-working he would fill the role as a substitute or an alternative attacking option well on the left, where Barcelona currently have no natural alternatives outside of Ansu Fati.

Having seen the likes of Ferran Jutgla go on and treble his value in a matter of months, Barcelona would be wise to consider only offers that will give them a significant injection of cash before selling Abde. While he may not be the answer long-term for the first-team, they are unlikely to find a better rotational option.

Tags Barcelona Ez Abde Nottingham Forest Osasuna Sevilla
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