Xavi Hernandez’s first decision at Barcelona was to go and watch the Barça B team. Then he completed his first training session with six youngsters from B and one Juvenil player. The latter was Ilias Akhomach, who has high potential. He scored a double with Xavi watching on. Here are the players Xavi called upon.
After Ansu, Gavi and Nico, the next should be Ilias. He’s closer and closer to the first team and Xavi could be in charge of giving him the decisive push.
Xavi needs wingers who open up the pitch and Ilias could do that very well. From the 2004 generation like Xavi, he’s got great speed, fantastic dribbling one on one, technical quality and the ability to unlock any game. Left footed and versatile, especially happy on the right, some have dared to compare him to Messi. His big moment is coming.
Without making too much noise about it, Comas is always there. HE is tactically privileged, works well with the ball and is good in the air at 1m 90. He was called up in pre-season with Koeman and now Xavi is watching. He’s one of the Barça B captains and is a player that turns into the extension of the coach on the pitch.
He has characteristics similar to Arnau Comas. A professional defender who has been successful on the left side too, and takes on concepts perfectly. Works hard and performs well, and quietly. He hasn’t missed a minute with Barca B and has been consistent. Scored against Sevilla Atletico but it was ruled out.
Versatile players are always welcome but sometimes can have a problem of not making a spot theirs. That’s not the case with Alvaro, whom Sergi Barjuan called up but did not give a debut to. He’s best in the pivot or interior midfield role. He can move the ball well, stopping opponents easily too, called a ‘tank’ in the B team. Garcia Pimienta used him at right back last season and he did well there too. The 20 year old arrived at La Masia in 2015.
Seeing Abde Ezzalzouli play is a throwback to the old wingers, who ran down the sideline, reached the byline and crossed for the striker. The Moroccan is adapting to Barça’s system, coming from Hercules this summer for 2m euros. He has been used as an impact player in Barca B, just starting one game, but he was given his debut for the first team. He’s got a good attitude too.
It can’t be easy captaining your team and then going to your direct rival. That’s what Jutgla did, leaving Espanyol and coming to Barca. The 22 year old is a fixture for Sergi Barjuan, he’s got a nose for goal and is the second top scorer for Barca B with three goals, and has three assists. Xavi liked what he saw when watching him at the Johan Cruyff.
He was a top reinforcement for the Barca B team this summer from Granada. Aranda ended up facing his brother Oscar a few weeks ago in the mini-Clasico. Antonio has found his place as an interior in midfield, preferably on the left, but can also play as a winger, a CAM or a second striker. He has two goals and two assists. He’s classy, can beat a man and has a good shot, but is a bit inconsistent.