It's now official: one of Barcelona's wonderkids is moving away to get more experience before turning into a star.
The club announced on Friday that a loan deal has indeed been agreed with newly promoted La Liga side Sporting Gijón for Alen Halilovic. The Asturians will have the Croatian youngster for a whole season, with a straight up loan contract. That means no buyout or extension clauses, and the player will return to Catalonia next July.
The 19-year-old was signed from Dinamo Zagreb and instantly became a Barça B starter, playing in 30 matches with the youth squad last season. He made his Big Show debut in January of this year, on a Copa del Rey game against Elche. He was then promoted by Luis Enrique to the senior group and played most of the preseason. With the potential lack of minutes due to the more experienced options on his position, it was decided that it would be better for Alen to get loaned away and get seasoned in La Liga before returning.
Halilovic has already signed his contract and passed medicals, and is available for selection right away. Gijón's first game of the new season is against Real Madrid, on Sunday.