Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez has confirmed that teenage attacker Angel Alarcon is an option to replace Memphis Depay, who has completed a move to La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid.
Alarcon made his Barcelona debut last time out against Ceuta in the Copa del Rey, coming on as a late substitute. He has also been included in the matchday squad to face Getafe in La Liga on Sunday January, 22.
Xavi told a pre-match press conference that the 18-year-old now has the chance to replace Memphis in the first-team squad for the rest of the 2022-23 season.
“Angel is an option to stay with us in the following months,” he told reporters. “He has capacities to play as a 9, 11 or 7, a versatile player who can score goals. Now he’s with us and can have minutes.”
Alarcon is one of Xavi’s favorite players in La Masia and the manager has been keen to promote him this season. Barcelona must also think about the attacker’s future as he is out of contract at the end of the campaign and able to leave for free.
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Alarcon ‘Kept Smiling’ After Barca Debut
The Barcelona teenager was happy to reflect on his debut with the Catalans after the win over Ceuta. Alarcon told Barca TV that he could not stop smiling after replacing Raphinha late in the game, as reported by Diario Sport.
“I was a bit nervous with everything that happened yesterday, but once I got home with my family, I’m much calmer. I kept smiling, it’s a dream come true to be able to debut at Barça, and I’m very grateful to the coaching staff for giving me the opportunity.”
Alarcon is the 10th La Masia graduate to debut for Barcelona under Xavi after impressing for the Under-19 team. The attacker, who joined Barcelona at the age of 14, has scored nine goals in 21 matches so far for Juvenil A.
Memphis Deal Includes Carrasco Clause
If Alarcon can impress he may well find himself part of the first-team on a permanent basis next season. Yet Barcelona may also look to bring in Yannick Carrasco after securing an option on the Belgium international as part of Memphis’s transfer.
Barcelona confirmed the clause in a statement on the club’s official website: “FC Barcelona and Club Atlético de Madrid have reached an agreement for the transfer of the player Memphis Depay for the fee of 3 million euros plus one million in variables. The agreement includes a preferential but not compulsory purchase option for the player Yannick Carrasco.”
Xavi was also asked about Carrasco at his press conference but admitted a decision had not been made yet on whether to sign the forward. “Yes the club has this option to buy Carrasco and we have to decide if we do it or not. It will depend on our [financial] situation,” he said.
Finances are likely to be tight at Barcelona again in the summer which could well affect the club’s transfer plans and offer youngsters such as Alarcon more first-team chances.
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