Though the pain of defeat to a Bayern Munich side that were there for the taking is likely to linger for a while, news that Pablo Martin Paez Gavira has put pen to paper on a new long-term deal will put a smile on every culers face.
Gavi, to give him the moniker he is more commonly known by, won’t be going anywhere else until at least 2026, and, following the likes of Ansu Fati, Ronald Araujo and Pedri, it’s another vital building block secured by Joan Laporta and his board.
There was genuine interest from abroad in the youngster’s services, most notably from Liverpool and Bayern Munich.
That he has committed to Xavi’s fledgling project rather than going to a more established outfit speaks volumes as to his character as much as it does for the esteem in which Xavi is held in by his charges.
Certainly, on the evidence of the season so far, this is a squad that can go far and, to this point, Gavi has played the fullest part.
Unlike Riqui Puig for example, he grabbed his chance last season with both hands and hasn’t looked back.
His tenacity and doggedness in midfield, not to mention his incredible work rate, can and does put other more established names to shame on a regular basis so it’s little wonder he enjoys the confidence of both Xavi at club level and Luis Enrique on the international stage.
The youngster was effusive during the presentation for his new deal, saying “I am very happy with the renewal… today makes me very happy.”
His declaration of “[playing for Barca] It’s something I’ve dreamed about since I was little. We [the player and his representatives] have always known that we wanted to be successful here,” should certainly please anyone of a blaugrana persuasion too.
If there’s one item of concern, and something that many culers on this platform have noted, it’s a potential issue of burnout.
Barca need to harness that youthful exuberance and, perhaps, reign it in occasionally.
Both Gavi and Pedri have played almost non-stop for a while now, and though they arguably deserve their starting spots, with the bench that Xavi has to call upon there’s no reason why the coach can’t mix it up a bit more often.
In any event, it’s an absolute joy to watch this young man in his element. To think that he will still be only 22 years of age at the end of this deal is mind-blowing.
By then I’d fully expect Gavi to have cemented his spot as one of the world’s best midfielders alongside Pedri.
Long may they reign.