BARCELONA – Waiting, applauding, and welcoming Ansu Fati Eleven months after the ordeal, another young Barcelona man jumped with an air of crack into the plane. Gavi Páez, midfielder, interior, winger and whatever it takes, who turned 17 on 5 August played his first game as a regular at Camp Nou and 20 minutes was enough to announce his coming to stay.
It was an excellent performance on a happy afternoon, for the moral recovery of Barcelona who needed self-respect… and that he conquered it with a group of youngsters on the field. Jaffe and Nico. Eric, Minguisa and Dest accompanied them on the starting team before Riqui Puig entered into match time before the much-anticipated and celebrated Ansu Fati debuted in the final stage.
Back couldn’t have tasted better. Ansu, injured since November 2020, was given a standing ovation to which he responded with an excellent goal that ended the afternoon at Camp Nou with a victory that, without detracting from Levante, had the flavor of the future.
Barcelona is looking to the future with the hope that the brilliance of its youth group will give them. A year ago it was Pedri. It was Mingueza and also Alex Moreba. Now it’s Niko, Demir’s turn… and Jaffe, the young crack project that appears on the pitch with his cheek and extraordinary ability to pay off.
An early talent, the young Andalusian player feels like following in the footsteps of Pedri Gonzalez last year. He was seen in pre-season but seeing the squad’s roster of midfielders was doubted his fame was limited as surprisingly was the confidence that Ronald Koeman had passed on him, who after being given the chance to make his final stage debut. From the match against Getafe he confirmed that it would be an element to consider.
A future player with his brilliant present, Gavi appeared against Bayern Munich and against Granada before he made his Cádiz debut, obscuring a sad draw for the Barcelona critic, with all the focus on always or coming. The dismissal of Koeman whose legacy will remain, as he ventures, in the form of youth placed at the service of the club.
Gavi met in the middle of the field with midfielder Busquets, and he and his friend Nico Gonzalez (19) sped to the starting position due to gastroenteritis that left Sergi Roberto Coo at the last minute. The understanding of the two young men was noticed from the first moment, accompanied by the captain’s coldness to return the taste of the ball to Barcelona.
Quick to combine, Barcelona showed a very different picture of the depressed group that suffered so much against Granada or dragged themselves through Cadiz without any character. High pressure, vertical by bands and balls to Gavi, who met with Nico, dwarf Levante unable to take the rhythm of the match and who, it is said, thanked him for reaching the second half losing 2-0.
In fact, the penalty-changed by Memphis (of course) and a perfect shot by Luc de Jong, who opened the scoring account for Barcelona, two more goals can be added, which Aitor saved, first from Jaffe’s zeppelin attempt and then to the poisoned head of Memphis.
The success of Barcelona, that is beyond Barcelona, Messi, must be understood by the growth of this new generation that should become the undisputed mass of the team. It is possible, and likely, that Ronald Koeman has an expiration date, as well as that Barcelona will end the season without titles to celebrate… But success must be interpreted differently.
Success is the vision of Gavi and Nico; Pedri, Demir, Mingueza, Eric Garcia, Araujo, Alejandro Balde, as well as Riqui Puig. And Ansu, of course. We hope that Barcelona with Frenkie de Jong, Ter Stegen, Memphis, Sergi Roberto and Dembele, and with them and with Frenkie de Jong or Dembele, and in the last years of the life of Pique, Busquets and Jordi Alba, will confirm the project with enough guarantees to smile in the near future.