Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman is reportedly “already in love” with new signing Yusuf Demir and thinks the 18-year-old could go on and become a “Pedri 2.0” at the Camp Nou.
The highly-rated Demir, who has been dubbed the ‘Austrian Messi’, has just arrived at the club on a season-long loan from Rapid Vienna, although the deal includes a purchase option set at €10 million ($11.8m).
Demir has been signed by Barcelona B but has been in pre-season training with the first team as a number of regulars are still on vacation due to their Euro 2020 and Copa America commitments.
Demir To Follow In Pedri’s Footsteps?
The teenager appears to have taken the chance to impress Koeman in his early days at the Camp Nou. Catalan journalist Gerard Romero has reported that Koeman is “already in love” with Demir and thinks he could have a similar impact as Pedri at the Camp Nou, according to Austrian oulet Laola1.
Pedri arrived at Barca as a relative unknown in summer 2020 but went on to become a regular under Koeman, playing 52 times in all competitions for the Catalan giants in his debut campaign.
The youngster then went on to play a starring role for Spain at Euro 2020. La Roja made it to the semi-finals, while Pedri was named the young player of the tournament. The midfielder is currently with the Spain squad preparing for the Tokyo Olympics.
Follow the Heavy on Barcelona Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Koeman Excited By New Faces
Koeman has been talking about the club’s new signings in an interview with Barca TV and admits that Demir has the potential to go on and have a big future at the Camp Nou.
“We are always ready for young players to come in, they are the future of the club. There are young players like Balde, Nico and Gavi and the new signing Demir who could all be great players,” he said. “You have to give them time to get used to the pace of the first team. We will see in the future which ones we will use.”
Former Barcelona and Austria striker Hansi Krankl has also talked up his compatriot and thinks he has made a great move by swapping Rapid Vienna for the Catalan giants, according to Mundo Deportivo.
“Congratulations to Yusuf! Barça only brings players of whom they are absolutely convinced there. This is a great prize for the boy and the best thing that can happen to him,” he said. “Barcelona is a different world: I cannot describe in words how beautiful it is. Barcelona is the best thing that can happen to Yusuf, the Catalans will take care of him.”
Barca fans could give a first glimpse of Demir in action shortly. The Catalan giants play a first pre-season friendly ahead of the new campaign against Nastic on July 21 and then take on Girona three days later.
Koeman will be forced to field his fringe players and youngsters, due to the amount of first-teamers yet to return for pre-season, which gives Demir the perfect chance to show exactly what he can do.