One of the best things about pre-season is that young players get the opportunity to both impress and be instructed by Barcelona manager Xavi. According to a report in Mundo Deportivo, Mikayil Faye has impressed early with his physicality.
Several youth players have been training with the senior side since the 10th of June including Unai Hernández, Ángel Alarcón, Estanis Pedrola, Marc Casadó and Fermín López, Lamine Yamal, Pau Cubarsí, Hétor Fort, Diego Kochen, Pau Prim and Marc Guiu have also been included.
Yamal is the cream of the crop with that group, but Faye has left a strong impression on the coaching staff, and while he’s not expected to challenge for a first-team place this year, it’s an excellent start to an up-and-coming Barca career.
Mikayil Faye A summer addition for Barcelona Atlètic
Faye turned 18 last week and only joined Barca last month from Croatian 2nd division side NK Kustošija.
Barca paid between 1.3 and 1.5 million euros and inserted a €400 million release clause into his contract, which shows how much they think about the talented Senegalese defender.
The report suggests that while he’s impressed with his ability in the air and physicality in the challenge, he will need to work on his positioning, tactical awareness and technical ability.
Playing with Rafael Márquez at Barcelona Atlètic will give him the perfect opportunity to improve, especially in terms of tactical awareness, something Márquez is renowned for.
The left-footed centre-back graduated from the Diambars FC academy in Senegal, famed for producing players like Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye, former Lille man Pape Souaré and Bamba Dieng who made a breakthrough with Marseille.
Faye is expected to head on tour with the senior Barcelona side when they leave for the USA later this week.
Internationals to return on Tuesday
Several key senior players have been missing from training after appearing in June internationals, but all are expected back for their medical tests on Tuesday.
Ter Stegen, Koundé, Christensen, De Jong, Kessie, Gavi, Dembélé, Lewandowski, Abde and Gündogan are all expected to take part and be ready to leave with the rest of the squad on the 19th of July.