Just weeks after Barcelona’s president Joan Laporta highlighted Gerard Hernández as a potential option to replace Sergio Busquets as the pivot in Xavi’s midfield, a report has surfaced indicating that he’ll leave the club for Villarreal.
Hernández had one year left on his contract with Barca, but it sounds as though an agreement has been made to terminate the contract, facilitating the move to Castellón.
Xavi has repeatedly stressed the importance of replacing Busquets, and Laporta stressed the importance of looking within first.
"“Xavi understands the situation of the club. He would like to strengthen the midfield, but he knows that some options are unfeasible and we would be wrong (to pursue them). It would cut the development of those in the academy. We have Marc Casado, Pau Prim, Gerard Hernández or Marc Bernal. First you have to look at home.”"
Barca has a world-famous academy in La Massia, renowned for producing some of the finest players to ever grace the field. Players like Lionel Messi, Xavi, Iniesta and Carles Puyol.
But it sounds as though they’ll be losing Hernández in the coming days.
Last off-season Xavi chose to call upon Pau Prim and Marc Casadó, which may have impacted Hernández’s decision to leave Barca this summer.
It’s expected that Hernández will join the Villarreal Juvenil A to complete his final year of youth football before challenging for a place in the first team in 2024.
Gerard Hernández spent 11 years in Barca’s academy
It could be that Hernández is just looking for a change of scenery, considering he’s been with the Barca youth ranks for 11 years.
Hernández has been capped at the youth international level with Spain and this will be seen as a big coup for the team who finished 5th in La Liga last season.
Known for his positional excellence and ability to read the game and break up attacks, Hernández has been a leading figure in the Barca youth ranks for years now.
If he does make the move to Villarreal he’ll be following former Barca youth players like Fabio Blanco and Ilias Akhomach, who also joined El Submarino Amarillo recently.