clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

A star is born for Barcelona after Lamine Yamal’s mature showing

Let’s just make sure to give him time...

FC Barcelona v Cadiz FC - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by David S.Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

The biggest compliment that can be paid to young Lamine Yamal in the aftermath of the Cádiz win is that he looked like he’d been playing down Barcelona’s right channel for years.

Forget anointing him as ‘the new’ anyone for now, and just take time to appreciate the natural skill and maturity in his game.

Rarely making a poor decision against a side that are often hard to break down speaks of a player that is a rare talent — and one who needs to be looked after.

At 16 years of age, one could rightly expect to find the exuberance and fearlessness of youth in his play, and whilst the latter certainly encompasses part of his game, his calm, almost serene way of playing, is highly unusual in one so young.

That Xavi selected him ahead of Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres shouldn’t be seen as further evidence that the coach wants the pair out the door, more that it was a game where Xavi could evidently give Lamine minutes to see how he fared.

FC Barcelona v Cadiz CF - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

On the evidence from Sunday night, it’s hard to disagree with his selection. Two shots on target that could, on another night, given him a brace that you couldn’t say he didn’t deserve.

To put things into some kind of perspective, Lamine was born four months after Leo Messi’s first hat-trick for the club against Real Madrid in March 2007. He’s still a baby in football terms.

And yet, watching how he bamboozled more experienced defenders and left them for dead on various occasions was, in my opinion, a watershed moment for this team.

Ask yourselves… did you miss Ousmane Dembélé or Raphinha? I’d politely suggest that I already know the answer.

It’s abundantly clear that Lamine is a very special player. However, after seeing how Ansu has withered under the pressure of replacing Messi, that should serve as the perfect warning to the club.

If the player himself can continue to produce the type of performance he showed against Cádiz, then his place in the starting XI is assured.

His age just becomes a talking point, not a consideration.

Perhaps of more concern to Xavi and his coaching staff should be the individual form of other players — I’m looking at you, Robert Lewandowski — and the fact that the Blaugrana are making life incredibly difficult for themselves in terms of scoring goals, and giving the opposition plenty of chances.

Let’s leave those worries for another time, however, and admire the diligence and efficiency of a player that should still be in high school.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Barca Blaugranes Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Barca news from Barca Blaugranes