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Barcelona confirm Nico Gonzalez has been registered with the first team, given new squad number (Updated)

The 20-year-old has been officially promoted

FC Barcelona v Elche CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Barcelona have officially registered midfielder Nico Gonzalez with the first team after an impressive breakthrough season at the Camp Nou.

The 20-year-old has made 23 appearances in all competitions in 2021-22 and has already opened his account for the club, scoring against Osasuna and Elche in La Liga.

The move is important because Nico has already found himself left out of the starting XI at times this season because of La Liga rules regarding first-team players.

Clubs must have at least seven first team players on the pitch which has been an issue for Barcelona, particularly when they were without a host of players during to Covid and injuries.

Xavi has already criticized the rules during a season which has seen Barca B players such as Nico, Gavi, Ez Abde, Alejandro Balde and Ferran Jutgla step up and feature for the senior side.

“The other day, Carles Naval told me that if we fielded four youth players and one of our senior players got a red card, we’d forfeit the game because seven senior players are needed on the pitch. This is such a stupid rule because we can take no risks at all.”

Promoting Nico should give Xavi a few more options when it comes to playing the club’s youngsters, and it’s also a deserved reward for the midfielder who looks to have a big future ahead of him at the Camp Nou.

UPDATE: Barça have also confirmed a new squad number for Nico, who will take Philippe Coutinho’s #14 shirt.