One of Barcelona’s most controversial signings will be leaving the club after spending only a single season at the Camp Nou. But there will no hassle in finding a replacement for the 21-year old Malcom, with La Masia returning to the spotlight.
Zenit St. Petersburg are leading the race for Malcom’s signature, despite interest from the Premier League. Barça are demanding a minimum of €40 million for the young forward, and the Russian giants are willing to pay up.
They are close to sealing the deal, with an unhappy Malcom relieved to leave Barça. But his departure will open up a huge opportunity for none other than La Masia graduate Carles Pérez, who recently raised eyebrows with his brace against Vissel Kobe.
Pérez has been making tremors at Barcelona B for quite some time, but players like Abel Ruiz and Riqui Puig have hogged the spotlight. He enjoyed his breakout campaign last season, scoring 9 goals and providing 4 assists in 23 appearances in Segunda División B.
Now, the 21-year old Spain youth international looks all set to make the jump to the first-team squad. Incidentally, he will be the first among his generation of La Masia graduates to get the call-up, ahead of the likes of Puig and Ruiz.
The left-footed Pérez will not get too much playing time, but training alongside superstars like Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann will definitely inspire him to develop as a player. He needs to prove himself consistently in pre-season to warrant a berth.
Pérez’s performance against Vissel Kobe was very impressive, but he needs to keep it up. Even after the season starts, the youngster needs to make the most of the minutes he gets off the bench. Regardless, it will be Pérez who replaces Malcom at Barça.