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The Future of Barcelona: 6 Players Ready to Step up When Messi and Suarez Depart

With the current financial crises rocking football due to the coronavirus pandemic, Barcelona might be forced to look inwards for the replacement of their two superstars - Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

Regarded as two of the greatest players to ever represent Barcelona, replacing any of the two players won't be easy.

Both players have grown to become very influential for the Catalan giants, having shattered series of records at the Camp Nou.

In this article, we would focus on talented youngsters within the ranks of the club who have the ability to step up when any of the two players leave or get injured. 

6. KONRAD DE LA FUENTE 

Konrad de la Fuente is an American player who currently plays for Barcelona Juvenil A side.

Still 18, Konrad is already an integral part of Barcelona B side, after making his first start last year against La Nucia.

The right-winger who is known for his blistering pace and dribbling skills is one of the shinning stars of the La Masia academy hoping to make the step to the first team next season.

5. HIROKI ABE 

After impressing in the Japanese league with Kashima Antlers, Hiroki Abe joined Barcelona in 2019, where he was asked to develop with the reserve team, Barcelona B.

Hiroki, 21, who plays on the left-wing and has the ability to dribble his way out of difficult situations has already made his debut for the Japanese national team. 

Although the youngster is still adapting to life in Spain with the reserve team - he has excited local fans with his dribbling skills and technicality. 

4. ALEX COLLADO 

Alex Collado is a left-footed midfielder who has the trait to become a successful Barcelona player due to his vision, ball control, and good shot. 

The Sabadell-born midfielder moved to the Catalonia club after representing sides like Gimnastic Mercantil and Espanyol in his youth days. 

The 21-year-old who was part of the Barcelona youth team that won the 2017/2018 UEFA Youth League, has already made his full debut for the first team - having featured against Celta Vigo in 2019.

3. RIQUI PUIG 

One of the brightest graduates of the famous La Masia academy is Riqui Puig.

The midfielder is tagged as the ideal leader to take Barcelona to greater heights in the nearest future due to his intelligent positioning, ball control, and passing.

The central midfielder, who has the attributes of Barcelona legend, Iniesta, also possess the ability to lead the first team in the absence of Lionel Messi. 

The 20-year-old, who made his full Barcelona debut against Culture Leone in the Copa Del Rey and his LaLiga debut against Huesca in 2019 is expected to play a leading role in the first team next season.

2. FRANCISCO TRINCAO 

Already a regular at Braga in the Portuguese league, Francisco Trincao was announced as a Barcelona player in the winter after a fee of €31 million was agreed between both clubs for the youngster to join in the summer. 

Trincao, who plays as a winger began his playing career at SC Vianense, before joining Braga after a brief stint with Porto youth team.

The 2018 European U19 Championship top scorer is one player to watch out for due to his amazing potential which has seen him score some amazing goals this season.

So far this season, the 20-year-old Portugal youth international has scored nine goals and provided 12 assists and also led Braga to the Portuguese League Cup title.

1. ANSU FATI 

Born in Guinea-Bissau, Fati joined Barcelona's academy in 2012 after a brief stint with local side, Herrera and Sevilla youth team. 

Seven years after joining the academy, he signed his professional contract with the club, before making his debut for the reserve team. 

Fati, who loves to play on the left-wing made his debut this season against Real Betis at age 16 years and 298 days due to several injuries to the first team players and has not disappointed.

The youngster is considered as the future of the club and possible heir to Luis Suarez due to his talent and display ever since he started playing for the first team.

QUESTION: Should Barcelona put their faith in these youngsters when Messi/Suarez leaves as most of their recent top signings have disappointed?.

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Barcelona Hiroki Abe Lionel Messi Luis Suarez Messi

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