It is true that we should not rush the kid, it is true that he has all of his career ahead of him and it might be too early to predict anything. But the truth is that Lamine Yamal has been Barça’s best player at the start of the season. And, at the young age of 16, he represents the offensive hopes of FC Barcelona.
Destiny is unpredictable, but everything in life, and in football as well, happens for a reason. Messi did not arrive, Dembélé unexpectedly left for PSG when it seemed like he would be the leader of the attack and one of the stars of the team. In addition, Raphinha got himself sent off and suspended for two matches as a result of an assault in Getafe. All of these events have lined up with the appearance of a new source of excitement in Can Barça: Lamine Yamal.
FC Barcelona and La Masía are factory of talent. However, let’s not make the huge mistake of labeling him this time around. He is not the new Messi, the new Iniesta or the new anything. He is the new Lamine Yamal.
Throughout the start of the season, the player born in Mataró has proven he has something special. He is the kind of footballer that can show that he is different by just receiving the ball. However, aside from his impressive talent, the most surprising thing about him is his strong personality and audacity at such a young age.
Against Villarreal, he displayed impressive power and pace along with valuable support in defensive tasks and a level of bravery that is rare in youngsters of his age in the First Division. And best of all, he did it when his team needed him the most, broken and on their way to a loss. It is in these kind of situations that the great players show up, the kind that do not get scared and put the team on their backs. That is exactly what Lamine Yamal did.
In terms of the Spanish national team, we cannot let a diamond in the rough like him slip away. We must bet on Lamine Yamal as the national squad is precisely lacking the kind of player that he is. Different players who provide dynamism are needed. Far from a basic and systematic analysis, Yamal playing at this level could be a very important leap forward in quality and the perfect complement.
We do not know what the outcome will be with the kid. But, early in September of 2023, at 16 years of age and playing at this level, it will be extremely difficult to take Yamal out of the starting eleven. In spite of being a world class wonderkid, Lamine Yamal is already a reality.
Translated by Nuño Alonso.
Main image: Edit by Marta Calle.