FC Barcelona Coach Xavi Receives New Signing In Training

FC Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez has called up a new signing to first team training ahead of his side’s meeting with Villarreal on Sunday.

The purchase of former SC
Freiburg midfielder Noah Darvich was announced just over a fortnight ago by the Catalans.

Seeing off competition from the likes of Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich, Barca paid just €2.5 million ($2.75 million) for the youngster regarded as one of German football’s most promising talents for being a “technically gifted” goalscorer and “versatile” player who can operate both as an interior or on the wing.

Darvich was immediately assigned to the Barca Atletic, and has already impressed in his debut for the reserve team.

Last week, he made his debut for them and provided an assist in a 45-minute cameo that came during a 3-0 win over Lleida Esportiu.

Sometimes criticized for not giving youth a chance, Xavi is known for allowing certain budding stars train with his first team squad.

Ahead of Sunday’s away trip to Villarreal, he has called up Alvaro Cortes, Marc Casado and goalkeeper Ander Astralaga to a session at the Joan Gamper CT alongside Darvich to get a closer look at the teenager who is also of Iraqi heritage.

Mundo Deportivo wrote that Barca consider Darvich to be a “high-level bet for the future”, and it now remains to be seen if he has impressed Xavi enough to continue working with the first team.

Darvich, whose three-year contract was signed with a €1 billion ($1.085 billion) release clause attached to it, can look to Lamine Yamal as an example of how this initial development can be the start of something great.

Last term, Yamal was also asked to train with the seniors on a frequent basis ahead of becoming Barca’s youngest La Liga appearance maker with an appearance at the end of the Blaugrana’s 4-0 win against Real Betis in April.

Then at the weekend, he also entered the history books as the Catalans’ youngest starter in the Spanish top flight while receiving a standing ovation at the Montjuic Stadium which ended his impressive 85-minute display in a 2-0 victory over Cadiz.

Darvich is slightly older than Yamal, who is also on the cusp of winning his first cap for the Spanish national team, so the records won’t form part of his aims.

Yet continuing to progress and perhaps lining up alongside compatriot Ilkay Gundogan in attacking midfield at some point this term definitely will be.