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Barcelona ask 21-year-old starlet not to play for national team at U-23 AFCON



Photo by KARIM JAAFAR/AFP via Getty Images

Abde Ezzalzouli is one of the stars of the ongoing FIFA Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations that is being hosted in his homeland, Morocco.

The Barcelona forward, coming on the back of a stellar loan spell at Osasuna, even netted twice in Morocco’s opening game against Guinea. He is the team’s captain and the undisputed star player, as the North African nation looks to dominate the competition.

However, according to SPORT, Barcelona have requested Abde not to play in the team’s second group game against Ghana. The Catalans fear the attacker might pick up an injury during a crucial period, especially as he is supposed to join the ranks at Barça for the pre-season preparation.

It is no secret that Barcelona are impressed by Abde’s performances during his time at Osasuna last summer, with the forward even helping the team reach the final of the Copa Del Rey. As such, the club want Abde to be a part of Xavi’s pre-season preparations.

Perhaps more importantly, though, Barcelona realise that Abde can be an excellent source of revenue this summer, with multiple top clubs across Europe interested in his services. Given his performances last season, the youngster might even cost a fortune.

With that in mind, Barça do not want Abde to pick up an injury in this crucial phase, knowing any blow might scupper the club’s chances of not only sealing a good valuation but selling the player altogether.

With first-team stars Ferran Torres and Ansu Fati showing no desire to leave, the sale of Abde could indeed be crucial as Barcelona look to bring in fresh funds and balance the books ahead of the new season.

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