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Four La Masia players that will soon make a rise like Lamine Yamal and Gavi

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Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

La Masia will be at the centre of Hansi Flick’s plans at Barcelona next season given the club’s financial situation. Early indications point to the manager being highly invested in the club’s academy, for he has even requested for reports on the club’s young prospects.

Barça Atletic’s failure to secure promotion to the Segunda division, however, leaves the administration with several key decisions to make in a limited time.

After all, multiple key prospects may opt to leave the club for greener pastures if they are sure that the door to the first team is closed.

Barcelona, thus, find themselves in a spot where they must prioritise the talents they choose to keep hold of.

In order to take such a call, however, it is critical that the manager has a clear idea of the players he looks to catapult to the highest level in the near future.

Barça Universal brings you a list of four players who could be the next big thing from La Masia, following the footsteps of Gavi, Pau Cubarsi, Alejandro Balde and Lamine Yamal in recent years.

Marc Bernal

Marc Bernal is a star in the making. (Photo courtesy: FC Barcelona)

Widely considered one of the brightest talents of his generation, Bernal was largely seen as the next academy star in line for a chance in the first-team last season. While his debut did not eventually arrive, he moves into the next season with the hype around him intact.

The 17-year-old is a defensive midfielder by trade and is thus one of the administration’s big bets to take over as the team’s primary pivot in the years to come. After all, Barcelona have struggled in the department since the departure of Sergio Busquets.

Bernal is remarkably versatile and capable of dictating play under pressure. His flawless passing range and immaculate use of both feet render him reliable while his physique gives him an edge in the defensive position he represents.

With Flick taking over the reins of the first team, Barcelona now have room for two defensive midfielders and not a single natural player in the position. An impressive pre-season for Bernal, thus, could well see him become a regular for the first team.

Marc Casado

Set for immediate promotion to the first team. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

At 20 years of age, Casado provides a more immediate solution to Barcelona’s problems in the defensive midfield and it is almost certain that he will have a place in Flick’s plans next season.

The Spaniard officially confirmed earlier this week that Barça Atletic’s defeat to Cordoba was his final game for the subsidiary team. He also relayed that his renewal was centred around opportunities in the first team, of which he is expected to be a regular member next season.

With Oriol Romeu definitely leaving this summer and no natural defensive midfielder in the squad, Casado could well begin pre-season as part of the team’s regular double-pivot under Flick.

After all, he has already made his debut and recorded some minutes for the first team under Xavi.

Unai Hernandez

Versatile and effective. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

The hero in Barça Atletic’s win over UD Ibiza earlier this month, Unai Hernandez, left a strong impression not only with his level but his versatility last season.

Originally an interior midfielder, the 19-year-old was extensively deployed on the left wing by Rafa Marquez last season and it is safe to say that he blossomed in the role.

Hernandez recorded ten goals for the B team in the league last season while also scoring a sensational hat-trick for the side in a critical promotion playoff clash against Ibiza.

He can operate as an attacking midfielder, a central midfielder or a left-winger based on the team’s requirement, although it is likely he will play on the wing if he earns a call-up to Flick’s side.

Dani Rodriguez

Dani Rodriguez knocking on the first-team doors. (Photo by TOM GOYVAERTS/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

Injuries were not kind to Dani Rodriguez last season, forcing him to ply his trade more with the Juvenil A team than Barça Atletic. His quality, however, has never been in doubt and he is expected to only grow on all fronts in the coming years.

Skilled as a left-winger, the 18-year-old reinforces a position of need for Barcelona at a time when the club are scouring the transfer market for a new signing.

Needless to say, Hernandez can serve as a reliable backup in the position next season especially given that he is left-footed.

The teenager will likely start the season with Barça Atletic and earn regular call-ups to the senior side based on his level. A strong pre-season, however, could also place him in a position of power as was the case with Lamine Yamal last summer.

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