Let us dig in to Manchester United’s reported agreement to sign Barcelona prodigy Marc Jurado.
Reports in Spain (via newspaper SPORT) claimed last month United have agreed to sign the youngster, who is just 16.
Jurado is a right-back, who can also play at centre-back, and is described as one of the leaders in his age group.It sounds pretty promising, and United should hope he can go on to become as big a star as Gerard Pique.
Pique signed from Barcelona in 2004 and was part of United’s 2008 Champions League winning squad, before he was sold back to Barcelona, and went on to win multiple league and international titles.
Pique’s story is still a cautionary one for United. He required more patience than he received, got homesick, and United missed out on his best years.
It is an exciting capture to land Jurado, but he is not guaranteed to become a superstar just because he is from Barcelona’s academy.
Of the young players at 16 in United’s academy, despite their promise, only a few will make it.
Three years ago there was big excitement as United signed Millen Baars from Ajax. Last summer he was released, and it took him months to find a new club, signing with AZ in February. He had simply failed to kick on.
Cesc Fabregas is seen as the ideal case for clubs poaching youngsters from Barcelona.Arsenal tried to replicate this with Fran Merida and Julio Plezeguelo, and failed.
In 2017, Leeds signed two young players from Barcelona’s academy. Even at Championship level, they have not made an impact, with zero starts combined.
Jurado has a chance, he is a promising player, who Barcelona did not want to lose.
But his path to the first team will be tough, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Diogo Dalot and Ethan Laird all in his path. A lot will depend on how he settles, and buys into his new surroundings.
We are glad to have him on board, and potentially, he could become a top star. But let’s not get carried away, a sense of perspective is needed.
There are no guarantees when it comes to the success of recruitment of players his age.
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