Not only in the main team, but at Barça B there have been some big news lately too. Yesterday, 18-year-old Argentinian centre-back Santiago Ramos Mingo joined the B on a free transfer from Boca Juniors. He signs for 3 years, with 2 extra optional years, and will have a release clause of €60m, and €100m if he reaches the first team. Another case of a teenage South American reserve player that moves on the cheap before his senior debut, as he had not signed a pro contract with Boca yet.
He stands out for his fighting spirit and character, even if he is somewhat slow. He’s a left centre-back, apparently suited to our style. Barça B already had four centre-backs (Araújo, Cuenca, Mingueza and Chumi), while Juvenil A’s Mika Mármol, a natural left-back that can play at the heart of the defence, deserves a shot too. Maybe Araújo will get frequent call-ups, but for me the signing of Santiago was not too needed. We’ll have to keep an eye on his progression, or see if he becomes one of the 49 signings made by Bartomeu for the Barça B…with none of them staying permanently in the senior squad.
What really is negative, though, is that Hiroki Abe tore the hamstring in his right thigh last weekend and will undergo surgery. His recovery time has not be specified, but he could miss the remainder of the season. Horrible news for the 21-year-old, who had been a starter under Pimienta, either as a false 9 or winger, and had scored 4 goals in 20 games.
The timing is catastrophic too. Suárez and Dembélé suffered serious injuries as well, while at Barça B Abel was transferred, Marqués was swapped for a midfielder, and Collado is with the first team. Forwards remaining at the B: Kike Saverio, Ret Manaj and Konrad, who actually is from the Juvenil A.
Barça B are feeding the A side, while they are also fighting for promotion to Segunda – they are currently second in their group. We have to add the injuries of Jorge Cuenca (who’s now returning) and Sarsanedas, the one-match suspension for Manaj, and the fact that Santiago Ramos and Matheus Pereira are yet to get the paperworks sorted out. We’re not making life easy for Setién and Pimi.