Barcelona Atletic coach names player who could step up to first-team

Barcelona Atletic coach Rafael Marquez has named teenage centre-back Mikayil Faye as a B team player who is ready to help the first-team amid the growing number of injuries.

As many as seven Barca players are currently carrying injuries, depleting the numbers that Xavi has at his disposal at a busy time when La Liga and Champions League games are coming thick and fast.

Faye was brought to Europe by Croatian side NK Kustosijca in March and made the switch to Barca’s junior team over the summer, already impressing in a short amount of time.

“Physically he is quite strong and intense, although he also has enough qualities to get the ball from behind,” Marquez said, via SPORT.

“Given the needs, it will be assessed whether it is necessary or not,” he added of the possibility of being promoted to the senior squad, at least in the short-term.

Mikayil Faye was involved in first-team pre-season during the summerMikayil Faye was involved in first-team pre-season during the summer

Mikayil Faye was involved in first-team pre-season during the summer / Candice Ward/GettyImages

“[Young players] have to be prepared for whatever comes. If the first-team considers it that way, I think he is a very capable player and in the circumstances of someone missing, he can do a good job.”

Marquez also spoke positively about fellow young centre-back Pau Cubarsi and is hopeful that both players might one day be permanent first-team players at Barcelona.

“They are two players who understand each other quite well both defensively and offensively. They both have good ball output, perhaps Mika more forceful, especially because of the physical side. Cuba is more methodical, more intelligent in personal duels. They are both performing.

“Cuba surprises me even though I already knew about the quality because he is still very young for the age group and yet he behaves like an experienced player. Hopefully, tomorrow, [in the future] they can be a profile for the first-team to take into account.”


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