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The sun still shines on Barcelona thanks to Gavi, Nico and Abde

A bright future

CA Osasuna v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Those who are of the glass half empty persuasion will have looked at the 2-2 draw against Osasuna and concluded that it’s two more points dropped.

That Xavi has overseen the worst start of any Barca manager since 1987 when Luis Aragones was in charge.

Whilst that’s all true of course, it would be wholly inappropriate to frame the performance at El Sadar in such a way as for it to be a major disappointment.

There was so much more to the 90 minutes from Barca’s point of view than some poor marking at a corner and a half-hearted attempt at a clearance which both led to goals.

For example, the performances of the younger players in the side were sensational. Again.


Abde, despite playing on the left, was everything culers expect Ousmane Dembele to be, and then some.

Sure he’s raw and needs a lot of polishing, but the work ethic is exactly what Barca - and Xavi - need right now.

His consistent chasing down of defenders and going after seemingly lost causes put the likes of Dembele to shame.

Xavi even said it himself post-match:

“Abde, Gavi and Nico were extraordinary,” he said. “We’re lucky with the contribution the youngsters are making. It was a great effort from the whole team, but it’s the youngsters making the difference — and that’s difficult to digest.

“I think that’s positive and negative. It is a positive for the future but also a negative because such young players can’t always be the standout performers. We have to demand more from everyone.”

Indeed, Gavi and Nico’s contributions were similarly outstanding.

It’s hard to believe that the former is just 17 years of age. He’ll be a mainstay in Barca and Spain’s midfield for years to come, and thus far you’d have to say that he deserves every plaudit coming his way.

I am convinced it will be an utter joy when we see him and Pedri alongside each other on a regular enough basis for them to form a decent partnership.

I’m willing to stick my neck out even now and say that the pair will be almost as important as Iniesta and Xavi, and that’s the biggest compliment I could pay them.

CA Osasuna v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

As with Abde, it was a delight to see Nico’s hard work get a reward, and what a ball from Gavi to give him the chance.

A great run in between two players as well as the ability to open his body up just enough to be able to poke it past the keeper.

It looked to be the winner that Barca’s play deserved but sadly it wasn’t to be on this occasion.

However, the visitors were worth at least a point on the day, and that was due in no small part to the young and exciting trio.

As Ian Dury (look him up!) once sang... Reasons to be cheerful, one, two three.

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