Barcelona players and staff surprised by 20-year-old academy graduate in pre-season

The pre-season brings with it an opportunity for youngsters in the team to make an impression and earn a spot in the manager’s long-term plans. Barcelona saw Alejandro Balde experience a breakthrough campaign last year after a solid pre-season that caught Xavi’s eye.

And heading into 2023/24, another Barcelona starlet, Fermin Lopez, appears to be turning heads in the early parts of the pre-season.

Indeed, according to journalist Toni Juanmarti, Lopez is bringing about a lot of good sensations with his performances in pre-season training thus far. In fact, members of the team and the coaching staff have been left surprised by the level he has displayed thus far.

Lopez is a product of Barça’s youth academy, having been part of the setup since 2016. The versatile attacking midfielder spent the last season away on loan at Linares Deportivo, where he made a big impression.

Indeed, in 37 appearances in the RFEF First Division, the 20-year-old produced a return of 12 goals and four assists. The youngster showcased versatility during his season on loan, playing as a No. 10 and on the left flank while he also featured as a central midfielder a few times.

Now, it appears that Lopez has caught the eye of Xavi, the rest of the coaching staff, and his Barcelona teammates with his displays in pre-season training.

Only recently, Barcelona midfield sensation Pedri spoke highly of Lopez, as he said: “A player I like a lot is Fermin [Lopez], I’ve never had the pleasure of playing with him and I see that he has a lot of energy, and above all a lot of quality.”

The Catalans face Arsenal in a friendly later this week and there is a good chance that Lopez could get an opportunity to showcase his potential in a match situation.

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