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A debut to remember

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With the financial implications that Barcelona have been facing in the past few years, the rise of a young player from their famed La Masia academy has been a huge relief to the club’s hierarchy. The reason is simple: a new star being developed within a club will cost far less than a player of similar quality on the heavily inflated transfer market. And the latest product of their youth academy is Marc Guiu.

The 17-year-old announced his arrival in style, scoring the winning goal for the Catalans against Athletic Bilbao. This helped Barcelona keep pace with league leaders Real Madrid, who are one point ahead.

Guiu has been described as one of the best talents to come out of the club recently. However, only some would have expected him to score his first goal on his debut, where he only had 11 minutes to make an impression.

So, who is Marc Guiu, and how good is he?

Marc Guiu profile 

 Marc Guiu Paz was born on January 4, 2006, in Granollers, Barcelona province. Growing up in Catalonia, Guiu grew up as a Barcelona fan. In fact, he started his footballing career at Penya Barcelonista Sant Celoni, a club run by the fans of Barcelona. The young striker played three years at the club before his dream of playing for Barcelona came true.

Joining La Masia in 2013, Guiu never looked back. The teenager made quick progress in the various age groups. Guiu’s rise was so quick that he never played long for a certain age group, gaining quick promotion.

When the 2023-23 season began, Guiu got his first taste of the senior team at the club after getting called up in the pre-season. While he played no part in the first game against Celta de Vigo, he did come on as a substitute for Robert Lewandowski in the second game against Japanese side Vissel Kobe.

Despite that, no one would have expected the youngster to get a chance as soon as the season began. Xavi, however, had other ideas as he named Guiu on the bench against Athletic Club. With Lewandowski unavailable for the game, Xavi turned to the youngster in search of a goal.

And he did provide it with a super run to first beat the offside trap before calmly slotting the ball between the legs of Unai Simon. The shot that led to the goals was his third touch of the game.

Marc Guiu style of play 

Barcelona youth coach Ivan Carrasco has described Guiu as a typical number nine who uses his explosive burst of pace, which he showed for his first professional goal. Standing at 1.87 metres, Guiu has the physical frame to hold off the ball from the opponents. On top of that, he can also quickly operate with the ball at a high pace, which will be very helpful for him, especially with Xavi hoping to use him for the last parts of a game where the opposition will be tired.

Guiu also won aerial duels in his 11-minute stay on the pitch, which shows he is not averse to putting pressure on the defenders. However, he is still far from a finished product, and only regular minutes in La Liga will help ascertain his strengths and weaknesses more.

Marc Guiu potential 

When a player scores for Barcelona at 17, he is bound to be a considerable talent. However, for the first time of asking, Guiu has been thrown at the deep end by Xavi and has performed. While this goal will give him high confidence, the opposition will be more wary of him.

For now, the best thing he can do is to keep working hard with the B team while also playing bit parts in the senior team. How far he will go remains to be seen, but the starting signs are promising.

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
A Bayern Munich fan who is deeply in love with football statistics. Has a soft spot for goalkeepers! (well only he knows why). You’ll find him vibing on 70’s classic songs and spends an abnormal amount of time cooking.

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