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18-year-old Barcelona starlet disappears from Koeman’s plans, faces uncertain future



Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

The summer transfer window this year saw Barcelona sign a number of young players with a view to bolstering the La Masia and the B team ranks. One such player who joined the Catalans’ B team was Yusuf Demir.

The 18-year-old forward was signed from Austrian giants Rapid Wien on a season-long loan deal with an option to make his transfer permanent at the end of the season for a fee of €10 million.

The international tournaments in the summer meant that a number of senior players were unavailable for the pre-season, which ended up as a boon for Demir. The teenage prospect made a massive impression in the friendlies, so much so that manager Ronald Koeman decided to make him a full-fledged member of the first team, discarding La Masia graduate Alex Collado in the process.

Barcelona even handed Demir the no. 11 jersey, and the teenager was a regular fixture in the early games in the 2021/22 campaign. However, all that has drastically changed in recent weeks.

Demir has not featured in a single game for the Catalan giants in a month now, with his fifth and final appearance of the season coming on 26th September against Levante. In all, the teen forward, who has four caps for the Austrian national team, has played just 188 minutes of football for Barca failing to score or assist a single goal thus far.

As per SPORT, It seems like Koeman has lost faith in the youngster after his dour displays in the games against Granada and Cadiz. That, combined with the return to fitness of the likes of Sergio Aguero and Ansu Fati, has led to reduced minutes for Demir. The fact that Sergino Dest has been used on the right-wing in recent games ahead of him indicates the 18-year-old’s current standing in the squad.

The situation has now led to Barca reconsidering the prospect of signing the Austrian international on a permanent basis. The report further adds that the purchase option would become mandatory if Demir played a minimum of 45 minutes in 20 games with the senior team. This clause could further impact the youngster’s playing time.