Barcelona may have been quiet in the transfer window when it comes to the senior squad, but they continue to recruit with an eye to tomorrow, with another exciting addition to Rafael Márquez’s Barça Atlètic side in the form of Freiburg attacking midfielder Noah Darvich.
As reported by Fabrizio Romano, the deal will be a €3 million fixed fee with add-ons that could see the price rise to €5 million in total.
It may seem strange to people that Freiburg was willing to sell one of the most prized youth assets in European football, but context is everything.
Darvish’s contract was set to expire in 2024, and with him attracting the attention of so many teams, it seemed clear he was ready to take the next step in his career.
Freiburg chose to sell him this year and pocket a guaranteed €3 million rather than lose him for free next summer.
Darvich’s talents became clear early on and he was snapped up by Freiburg when he was just 10 and he quickly rose through the ranks.
Last year he finished with 9 goals and 5 assists in 26 appearances for Freiburg’s U17 team. Understandably, that attracted significant attention.
Caught Offside reported that he was being tracked by some of the biggest clubs in Europe including Bayern Munich and PSG. Arsenal were also believed to be interested, but due to Brexit regulations, they were unable to make a move for the talented youngster until he turned 18.
Darvich recently starred in the U17 European Championships for Germany where he registered 4 assists and 2 goals in 5 games. He also created 7 chances in the group stage of the tournament, joint most with Lamine Yamal, who will now be his teammate in Barcelona.
Both players ended up being named to the team of the tournament and the thought of both of them playing on the same team is an exciting proposition for fans.
What kind of player is Noah Darvich?
Darvich has often been compared to fellow German midfielder Mesut Özil for his creativity and control of the ball.
Technically a very gifted player, Darvich is comfortable bringing the ball forward but also has a keen eye for the final pass, which is reflected in his assist numbers and chances created.
Despite being 16, he’s powerful for his age. Showing an ability to shield the ball and never shies away from his defensive responsibilities. Although he would struggle with the physical demands of first-team football if he were thrown in now, his trajectory indicates that as he matures he’s going to be fine.
Although he’s at his best when playing as an attacking midfielder, Darvich has shown the versatility to play as a deeper central midfielder or as a right winger. A left-footed playmaker, he also shows the ability to find cutting passes with his right foot, making him an extremely dangerous player in the final third.
One underrated aspect of Darvich is his leadership, he was chosen as the captain of the U17 team that recently won the European Championships.
One interesting aspect is Darvich is represented by Leaderbrock Sports, a company renowned for signing and developing some of the best talents in Europe, and the agency has a good relationship with Barca considering they also represent Pedri and Ferran Torres. Pedri recently committed his future to Barcelona.