Barcelona B: The Star-Studded Future – Part 1

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mini 2020 01 15 FCBBvsBADALONA 38

In our previous post, we analysed Barcelona B using data and statistics and shortlisted players that we thought were of great quality and would be useful for the main team. Now, we will be individually analysing some of them and find their traits. We will be focusing on players who will be leading us in the future.

Riqui Puig
Riqui Puig - La Masia
Riqui Puig playing for FC Barcelona

The first player we saw was Riqui Puig, who has been great so far this season for the first team. His technical quality is unmatched for other midfielders at his age, with an eye for making a pass that many others do not see. His qualities have given him a comparison with Andres Iniesta, due to his incredible vision and unrivalled energy when on the ball. The Spanish youngster is great at passing, showing his creativity when he comes on as a super-sub in the league games. This is evident in his 11.46 passes to the final third that he makes per game and the 2.79 passes he makes to the penalty area. Both numbers are great quality for any player and are especially better for a player of his age and maturity.

Puig is also strong at dribbling and is always looking to go forward with the ball. In a game, he attempts 4.65 dribbles towards attacking positions, which contribute to goalscoring opportunities. He also makes 5.14 progressive runs per game, which is indicative of his aggressive, attacking mentality- something Barcelona needs due to its lack of creative midfielders.

Puig's Heat Map
Puig’s Heat Map

This heat-map, courtesy of Wyscout, shows his preferred position as a player. He plays well at the left central-midfield position but is a very progressive player as he goes centrally when in attacking phases. Puig’s awareness in passing is an important skill of his to look at as well. When on the ball, he looks to create passing lanes by being further away from the opposition midfielders and thus decrease the chance of getting his pass intercepted. Thus, he is good at switching the ball from the left side to the right, making a run forward and receiving the ball in advanced positions.

Puig has definitely shown the skill and talent required to be a Barcelona midfielder for the first-team. If he improves on his final output like shooting when in the final third, he should integrate easily in Barcelona’s best midfield, as we can see in the graph below:

Riqui Puig 1
Riqui Puig this season for Barcelona (from
Alex Collado

Barcelona B talent - Alex Collado

The next player on our list is the right-winger- Alex Collado. Collado has only played five minutes for the Barcelona but is a great fitting in Garcia Pimienta’s Barcelona B side. Collado is the orchestrator of the team, commanding the ball when in possession with his charging dribbles, his pinpoint passes and his lustrous technique on the ball. While Collado is not a natural winger, he plays in the right and left-wing, playing both with relative ease. He is, however, a natural attacking midfielder. Like the new signing Pedri, Collado can play in the left, right and middle of the pitch with great quality.

Screenshot 2020 07 28 at 5.01.33 PM

Collado is the magician of the Barcelona B side. He can perform any attacking role required of him in the position he is playing and he can conduct it very well. He can drop back deep near Monchu and Puig to collect the ball, he can cut inside like Arjen Robben from the wing to create goalscoring opportunities, and he can play as a pure winger, hugging the touchline and performing his role.

Collado is similar to Lionel Messi in terms of roles played. Both players drop deep and create chances for building up, and aids in vertically transitioning the ball from the midfield to the attacking lines.

Collado is a playmaker, dribbler and is great all around the pitch. However, like Puig, he needs to improve in his final output when shooting, as he has relatively lesser goals this season so far.

In the next analysis, we will be looking at the other players in the side, especially those we think will be great for the future.

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