Ilaix Moriba will be promoted to Barcelona's first team next season

NEWS

The young midfielder has impressed Koeman in his four appearances to date

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Albert Rogé

Ilaix Moriba is fulfilling a dream. The Barcelona B midfielder has gone from making his senior debut to making his Camp Nou debut to helping the team close in on their objectives in just a few weeks.

Ronald Koeman's not been afraid to throw him on in games against Sevilla over the last week, proving that Ilaix is here to stay. So much so, in fact, that the club have decided he will be a first team player next season.

At 18, Ilaix should still be with the Juvenil A side in theory (U19s). However, he's always been ahead of players of his age, playing up throughout his time at La Masia.

The club have had him singled out for years as a player with first team potential and they weren't wrong. But it has not always been easy.

At 16, Ilaix has big offers from Manchester City, Juventus and Chelsea. There was a lot of interest before Barça closed a three year deal, with his contract up in 2022.

His renewal will be one of the first things the new president, elected on Sunday, will have to deal with, knowing that Ilaix is not short of suitors.

Following his performances last season, Barça received a lot of offers to take him on loan in the summer but the answer was no. They wanted him in the B team and available for the first team.

Ilaix was happy to play. He wanted to make the first team and he made his debut against Cornella in the Copa del Rey. He improved as the game went on and convinced Koeman he was deserving of more chances.

His next appearance came against Alaves. He did well despite making an error to give away a goal. It was part of the learning process.

Against Sevilla in the league he came on and set up Messi's goal and played again in the Copa game on Wednesday. He's loving life, living on a cloud and working harder than ever. Ilaix is here to stay. Another jewel from La Masia makes the first team.

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