Barcelona beat arch-rivals Real Madrid 3-0 in Dallas Texas last night in their second game of the US pre-season tour. There were plenty of positives and a few negatives as well, but after losing 5-3 to Arsenal earlier in the week, it’s nice to taste victory, especially against Los Blancos.
Fermin Lopez is here to stay
Xavi confirmed after the game that 20-year-old attacking midfielder Fermin Lopez would stay with Barcelona this summer and be part of the first-team setup in 2023/24.
That’s hardly surprising considering he put on quite a show against Real Madrid. His goal from outside the box was outstanding and the assist to Ferran Torres showed the skill and touch that Xavi has been talking about in the final third.
Through the summer we’ve heard a lot about Lopez from players like Pedri, now we got to see it for ourselves.
Lopez is obviously technically very gifted, but his work rate was outstanding as well. He pressed high on the Madrid midfielders and made it very difficult for them to play out of the back.
The young midfielder spent the 2022 season on loan at Linares Deportivo bagging 12 goals and registering 4 assists for the third division side. Going from playing in the third tier to competing for La Liga titles is a step up, but he’s quickly showing he’s ready.
One of the best traits Lopez possesses is his movement off the ball, he picks up pockets of space between midfield and attack, which makes him hard to defend against.
He only has one year left on his contract, and considering how well he’s playing…Barca may want to look into that sooner rather than later.
Barca have wanted to bring in an attacking midfielder, but maybe the emergence of Lopez will make them think twice about that.
Gundogan seemed to aggravate his groin last night, so it’ll be interesting to see how he recovers, but his absence could open the door to early playing time for Lopez.