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Koeman ready to count on Barcelona starlet Nico Gonzalez - Report

The 19-year-old will be back-up to Sergio Busquets

VfB Stuttgart v FC Barcelona - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman is reportedly ready to count on 19-year-old midfielder Nico Gonzalez after an impressive pre-season by the youngster.

Nico was handed the chance to impress the Dutchman ahead of the new campaign with Pedri away at the Olympics and Ilaix Moriba frozen out currently amid a contract standoff.

The youngster duly showed what we can do and was rewarded with a La Liga debut on Sunday in the 4-2 win over Real Sociedad.

It seems we can expect to see a lot more of Nico this summer. Sport report the teenager will be the midfield “signing” that Koeman wanted this season.

The report adds that the Barca boss “counts on him” to be the back-up to Sergio Busquets and has liked the youngster ever since seeing him in a game between Barca B and Juvenil A.

Former U19 boss Franc Artiga has been talking up Nico this week, in the wake of his debut, and thinks he will be the perfect replacement for Busquets.

He told Catalunya Radio, “Nico is made to play as ‘4’ at Barça, the replacement for Busquets. He is very intelligent and physically he is a beast.”

Meanwhile, the midfielder seems settled in the first team already. He said after his debut, “I didn’t expect to feel so comfortable so quickly within the first team.”