Barcelona Set To Hand Debut To First English Player Since Gary Lineker
Marcus McGuane could be afforded the opportunity to become the first English player since Gary Lineker to play for the Barcelona first-team, on Wednesday night.
The 19-year old came through the ranks at Arsenal and made two appearances in the Europa League this season before doing 'the reverse Cesc Fabregas' and joining the Blaugrana for an undisclosed fee in January.
McGuane signed a three-year contract with Barca and had a £21.9 million release clause inserted into his contract.
A dream come true. Today I signed for the biggest club in the world and tomorrow I start work. What a special day it has been for me and my family. Now I am ready to start this new chapter and challenge:red_circle::large_blue_circle: @FCBarcelona @FCBarcelonaB #ForçaBarça #FCBarcelona pic.twitter.com/fHsOb8z6nM
- Marcus McGuane (@marcusmcguane58) January 30, 2018
As is standard procedure for youngsters who sign with the Catalan club, he has been playing for Barca's B team, making four appearances so far.
My broo:raised_hands::heart: @marcusmcguane58 https://t.co/LM7IAqxmGG
- Eddie Nketiah (@EddieNketiah9) March 6, 2018
But as per ESPN, the England Under 19 international is one of 12 players being brought into the first-team fold by Ernesto Valverde for Barca's next game: the Catalan Super Cup final against Espanyol.
Barcelona are prioritising other games over tomorrow's meeting with their Catalonian counterparts, with only eight first-team players in the squad. Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho will play no part, though Ousmane Dembele and January signing Yerry Mina are expected to be involved.
McGuane had been with Arsenal since the age of six but made the decision to move to Barcelona to further his footballing education.
He has trained with Messi, Iniesta and co. on one occasion a couple of weeks back but his big opportunity could arrive in Lleida on Wednesday.
Talking to ESPN, Barca B coach Gerard Lopez spoke very highly of McGuane and the progress he's been making in the last two months.
"McGuane's adapted well. He's doing well. He's a complete player," he said.
"Perhaps he just lacks that calmness on the ball, that pause in terms or our positional play, but he has everything else we need in the middle of the pitch.
"In a short time he has already earned my confidence, and I hope he can become an important player for us."
Here's hoping McGuane gets some game-time tomorrow and makes history.