FC Barcelona – La Liga Just waiting for Dest
Ronald Koeman has always had an eye for spotting young talent, as has been seen previously with Virgil van Dijk, Sadio Mane, and Juan Mata.
That appears to be no different at Barcelona, where the Dutchman is getting the best out of Ronald Araujo, Frenkie de Jong, Pedri, and Oscar Mingueza. All are regulars for the Catalans this season, and Koeman still has Ansu Fati to return from injury as well.
It had been a long time since Barcelona saw a centre-back emerge quite like Ronald Araujo has. But the 21-year-old has shone for the Catalans this season.
He has only been dribbled past once in 15 games this season, and he is by far their standout player at the back.
He has started 12 of the last 13 games, only dropping out of the XI for a rest.
The youngster is probably the unexpected emergence this season, having come into the first team setup due to an injury crisis in November.
Koeman was impressed by what he saw though and Mingueza has offered versatility at the back.
He arrived from Ajax with a lot of expectation on him, and Koeman has started to get the best out of him after a year of adapting to Spanish football.
He speaks Spanish well, and he fits perfectly into the side this season. In 10 games he has four goals and two assists.
Koeman wanted him to offer more in attack, and he’s doing just that.
The teenager, who has just turned 18, already looks like a star in the making. Nobody links up with Lionel Messi better than he does, and the sky is the limit for the Canary Islander.
He has played 27 of 28 possible games, having been rested against Ferencvaros, and he stole the show in Turin with a brilliant performance against Juventus.
Philippe Coutinho has been forgotten because of him.