The quarry breaks down the doors of the elite

Gavi, along with Frenchman Tchouaméni, during the Nations League final. / AFP

First division

Led by Barça Gavi, a great sensation of the League and La Roja, more than twenty young debutants try to break through benefited by the pandemic and injuries

Amador gomez

The quarry of Spanish football is not only knocking insistently at the doors of the elite, but also, benefiting from the pandemic that has forced professional clubs to bet on young people from the house, is already managing to tear them down. Led by Barça Gavi, the brand new great sensation of the League and, above all, of the national team, with whom he has already broken a record of precocity by making his debut at 17 years and 62 days, the homegrown players to whom so many times are closed the roads, they are now trying to become strong among the main stars of the League.

At the moment, Gavi, with only 363 minutes as a professional, has already managed to show himself off and has begun to harden in two Champions League matches and another two in the League of Nations with Spain, without wrinkling before, among others, a couple of French physical prodigies. wanted by Real Madrid such as Pogba and Tchouaméni. Among more than twenty homegrown players who have debuted this season in the League, only Athletic defender Dani Vivian (22 years old), another emerging figure in the championship, has so far surpassed Gavi in ​​minutes in the League (630), having taken advantage of Yeray’s injury, jumping from the position of fourth center to second and even making his debut as a scorer in First. «I would describe him as a pessimistic central defender. He is always very attentive to the game and solves situations very well protected by a correct organization and with the support of his teammates, ”said Marcelino García Toral of the Vitorian defender.

“Gavi has shown in a very short time that he has a place in this team,” acknowledged Ronald Koeman, enthusiastic about the class, character, courage and self-confidence of the very young right-wing player from Seville. Up to eight youth players from La Masia played for Barça in the seventh match of the League against Levante (3-0), in which it was the Barça’s best game this season. In addition to Gavi as a right inside, Koeman then turned to Mingueza, Piqué, Eric García, Busquets and Nico in the starting eleven and in the second half two more homegrown players came out, Riqui Puig and Ansu Fati, in their explosive return after almost a year low.

Two other players also had minutes who, without being homegrown players, did come from Barça B, Araujo and Demir. And they could be even more those trained in the lower categories, since Jordi Alba, Sergio Roberto and Balde were injured. According to a recent study by the Football Observatory of the International Center for Sports Studies (CIES), Barça is the second team in the five major European leagues that grants more minutes to players under 21 years of age, only surpassed by Bayer Leverkusen. Gavi, Nico, Balde, Pedri, Demir, Ansu Fati, Eric Garcia and Sergiño Dest have led the Barça club to almost lead that ranking, with Mallorca in eighth position, also after four French clubs (Nice, Rennes, Olympique de Marseille and Stade de Reims) and an Italian (Genoa).

La Real, in the lead with the youth

It is, however, Real Sociedad, third in the League after eight games, with the same points as Real Madrid and Atlético, which heads the list of clubs that have lined up the most young footballers in this championship, with a average age of 25.50 years, surpassed in Europe by Arsenal (25.01 years). There are already four footballers aged 21 or younger who have made their debut this season with the Donostia first team: Lobete, Turrientes, Cristo Romero and Karrikaburu. Lobete, who after Vivian and Gavi is the young player who has played the most minutes in the league so far (215), has also scored his first goal for Real.

Real Madrid, which has up to 80 footballers from La Fábrica divided into teams from the first European divisions, half of them in the League, does not appear in the ‘top ten’. Only six homegrown players have a record with the Madrid first team (Carvajal, Nacho, Casemiro, Valverde, Lucas Vázquez and Mariano), but with Zinedine Zidane, forced by injuries and such a tight schedule, Miguel Gutiérrez, Blanco made the jump from Castilla , Arribas, Chust, Marvin Park and Hugo Duro, on loan from Getafe to Valencia.

With Carlo Ancelotti Miguel Gutiérrez has had continuity, due to the casualties on the left side of Mendy and Marcelo, and the right side Sergio Santos has also made his debut in this League. Among the soccer players rejected by Madrid who now stand out in the League are the rojiblancos Marcos Llorente and Mario Hermoso and the Spaniard Raúl de Tomás, second top scorer last season and author so far of three goals this season. Among many others, Barça also rejected Ilaix Moriba (Leipzig), Cucurella (Brighton) and Aleñá and Sandro Ramírez from Getafe.


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