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19-year-old Dutch attacking prodigy dreams of playing for Barcelona



Photo by ED VAN DE POL/ANP/AFP via Getty Images

AZ Alkmaar completed their incredible story when they triumphed over Hajduk Split in the final of the UEFA Youth League.

One of the protagonists of their brilliant campaign was Mexx Meerdink, a 19-year-old striker who has made a lot of waves in the Dutch youth leagues with his blazing performances this season. With nine goals, he ended the campaign with Youth League’s joint top-scorer alongside Panathaikos’ Bilal Mazhar.

Two of Meerdink’s goals came in the final, as AZ Alkmaar swept aside their Croatian rivals 5-0 in Geneva. Just before the game, reports had emerged suggesting Barcelona’s interest in at least four of the youngsters playing in the final.

Meerdink was unsurprisingly one of the four individuals Barcelona scouts were tracking. Amid links to Camp Nou, the youngster has now spoken about his future, hinting at the desire to play for Barcelona one day.

“The club I dream of joining? FC Barcelona,” he said in the Khalid & Sophie show. It appears to be a quite calculated statement from Meerdink, knowing he has an excellent opportunity of making a big leap in the coming summer.

The striker currently plies his trade for AZ Alkmaar’s U21 side, but he has featured in four Eredivisie matches this season. Everything indicates he will be promoted to the senior side next season and play a more prominent role in the team.

That is, unless, Barcelona find a way to secure his services in the coming summer. The club are, no doubt, in the market for hidden gems across the world, having recently been linked with an approach for Uruguayan midfielder Fabricio Diaz.

However, the Catalans might want to proceed with caution as far as their pursuit of Meerdink is concerned. The player does not have much experience in professional football and it would perhaps be wiser for the club to monitor his performances in Eredivisie next season before making a move.

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