Barcelona starlet Nico Gonzalez has been tipped to go on and become “better” than legendary midfielder Sergio Busquets at the Camp Nou.
Xavi Vilajoana, the former head of youth football at Barcelona, has talked up 19-year-old Gonzalez who is expected to join up with the first team for pre-season training ahead of the 2021-22 campaign.
“Nico González is going to be better than Sergio Busquets,” he said. “He is more complete. He can play inside because he has more arrival and overflows, he has a good head, he is right-handed, but he uses both legs very well, he is tall and strong … an eight in everything.”
The teenager recently signed a contract extension that will keep him at the club until 2024. The deal includes a buyout clause set at an eye-watering €500 million.
Follow the Heavy on Barcelona Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
More Praise For Nico Gonzalez
Gonzalez has also come in for praise from Marcel Sans, who was his first coach at Barcelona. Sans has explained what made the young midfielder stand out from the rest, according to Marca.
“From a young age he was very good when playing with one or two touches,” he explained. “His decision-making was very good. In difficult moments, he took responsibility.”
The teenager now plays in Busquets’s role as a defensive midfielder in front of the back four, and Sans expects him stay in that role for the rest of his career. He added, “He had very good statistics. There were matches where he won the ball 18 times. He has settled in this position.”
Gonzalez To Get First-Team Chance?
Gonzalez could get the chance to impress first-team boss Ronald Koeman ahead of the 2021-22 campaign in pre-season training. The midfielder is seen as the “best in-house replacement for Sergio Busquets,” as reported by Sport.
Koeman offered youngsters Ilaix Moriba, Sergino Dest, Ronald Araujo, and Oscar Mingueza plenty of game time in his first season in charge, although his unwillingness to use starlet Riqui Puig disappointed Barcelona fans.
Yet Barca will be hoping that Gonzalez can ultimately go on and replace Busquets in the first team. The midfielder remains a key player for the Catalan giants but will turn 33 in July and is heading towards what has been a phenomenal career at the Camp Nou.
Busquets’s current Barcelona deal runs until 2023 which means the club needs to be thinking about potential replacements. Gonzalez has been a the club since he was 11 and could well be the latest player to progress through the ranks and become a key player in the first team.