Ronald Araujo is following in the footsteps of Raphael Varane

Ronald Araujo is following in the footsteps of Raphael Varane

Aí marcó Araujo el 1-0 en el derbi de canteras ante el Espanyol / | @FCBarcelonaB

The 21-year-old's progress has been rapid and he's now an established member of the senior squad

Despite falling short in their attempts to retain LaLiga, FC Barcelona are ready to launch an attack on the Champions League.

At the same time, Barça B are now one match away from securing promotion back to LaLiga Smartbank after defeating Badajoz 5-3 on penalties.

One man who stood out from the crowd was Ronald Araujo. The centre back was a late addition to the group after featuring in Barça's final match of the season. 

Pie de foto | AUTOR FOTO

With Lenglet struggling for fitness and Samuel Umtiti on the way out, there's a huge chance Araujo will be able to establish himself in the first-team picture at the Camp Nou next season.

In the summer of 2014, Barça surprised many by signing the young Uruguayan centre back to their B side. They paid €1.7m to Boston River and that figure couple triple depending on his progression and achievements at the club.

Araujo signed a five-year deal and was handed a €100m buyout clause. This is a deal similar to the one Real Madrid made with Raphael Varane back in 2011 when the French centre back was only 18 years old.

Both stand at 1.91m tall, weigh a little over 90kgs and have similar styles of play. Their strengths are anticipation, intelligence and raw speed which allows them to catch up with the fastest attackers around.

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In his return to Barça B, Araujo showed his quality by shutting down Badajoz attacks which would have ordinarily ended in goals for the opposition. His evolution and development after being exposed to first-team football has been significant.

One of the fastest players at that level, Chris Ramos (on loan at Badajoz from Valladolid) got the best of Araujo once and caused the Uruguayan to enter the book in order to halt the attack.

But Araujo saw it as a personal challenge, maybe inspired by Michael Jordan's Netflix documentary, and marked the striker out of the game. He was organised, read the game well and used his pace to nullify his opponent's usual speed advantage.

Pie de foto | AUTOR FOTO

It's true that Araujo still has some aspects of his game to work on but that's to be expected at this stage. His was caught in between two places for Badajoz's goal.

All signs suggest Barça have a centre back who could play at the club for many years to come. There's even talk of Araujo making his full debut for Uruguay after already being capped by U18 and U20 level.

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