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Xavi determined to be careful with Barcelona wonderkid Lamine Yamal

The coach has plans

FC Barcelona v Celta Vigo - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez has made it clear he’s determined to protect Lamine Yamal after watching the 16-year-old break into the first team.

Lamine Yamal has already made history with club and country during his short career, and his early performances have shown exactly why there’s so much hype surrounding Barca’s latest wonderkid.

The teenager put in another impressive cameo against Real Mallorca on Tuesday, with Xavi urging caution after the final whistle.

“He is so young that we want to take care of him,” he told reporters.

“He has a lot of maturity. He can help us a lot, but we have to be careful. Happy with his contribution.

“He has come in very well. He understands very well with Rafa, with Fermín. I know that he can contribute to us and that he is differential. That is what we want. That he generates things for us, but we have to take care of him. He is too young to burn him out.”

Xavi is also taking other measures to protect Lamine Yamal, according to Relevo. The manager is especially keen to avoid inevitable comparisons with Lionel Messi.

The report adds the coaching staff are obviously well aware of the talent they have on their hands but also know there is no rush. They want to avoid “excess euphoria” and will manage his first-team minutes carefully.

Barcelona are concerned about physical setbacks players such as Pedri and Ansu Fati have suffered and want to avoid a repeat with Lamine Yamal.

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