Barcelona Loses Young Talent: Andrea Natali’s Departure to Bayer Leverkusen

Barcelona Loses Young Talent: Andrea Natali’s Departure to Bayer Leverkusen

13/06/2024 Act. and las 14:40 CEST

Andrea Natali (16 years old) has been the last great escape from La Masia. The central, captain of the Italian under-17 European champions, has rejected Barça’s renewal proposal and will leave for Bayer Leverkusen. The official announcement is imminent.

Barça offered him a renewal, but the German team presented him with a football plan with more facilities to reach the first team. As Relevo pointed out a few days ago, one of the factors that contributed to the decision was the presence of Sergi Runge in the reserve team, a coach with a past at La Masia. Another key aspect is Leverkusen’s sports policy and the role of Xabi Alonso, who is committed to young people.

Natali had a lot of competition in the Barça youth team, since it coincides with one of the best batches of power plants in recent times in the Barcelona club. Pau Cubarsí is the clearest case and Mika Faye points to the first team’s preseason. But behind names like Cuenca and Alexis Olmedonoted as two of the best central projects of the quarry, are also looking for their place in the subsidiary.

The one we will no longer see for sure next season is Andrea Natali, a central defender compared to Piqué in the lower ranks. This season he had played 24 games, of which 21 were in Juvenil B, with him being the cadet-age player.

A “very mature” teenager

Andrea began his training in the Milan youth team. His good foot made him take his first steps playing as an interior midfielder.. His family moved to Catalonia and he started playing for Espanyol. In Infantil B, the blue and white team stood out as a double pivot and caught the attention of Barça observers. It didn’t take long for the Barça team to see possibilities for him as a centre-back and from the youth level onwards he successfully got used to his new position.

His size made things much easier for him in defensive tasks and his abilities as a midfielder were a plus for getting the ball out. Besides, The technicians discovered a “very mature” teenager with “a competitive character” unusual for a 15-year-old teenager. During his time at Barça he has also stood out for being a very communicative defender on the field. Intangibles that have also allowed him to be the captain of his team.

The Italian joins footballers trained at La Masia who are looking for their opportunity in the Bundesliga. Right now there are cases as striking as Dani Olmo, Xavi Simons and Ilaix Moriba. All three are part of the Leipzig squad although in very different conditions. Olmo left La Masia to test himself in Croatia before succeeding at Leipzig, where he is a key player. Simons, for his part, went to PSG and has exploded in the German team on loan. Things are worse for Ilaix Moriba, signed by the German club but who is stuck on loan after loan.

Another youth player who is being a protagonist in the Bundesliga is Alejandro Grimaldo, who after making a name for himself at Benfica was signed by Bayer Leverkusen. In the German team he has had his best season under the command of Xabi Alonso.

2024-06-13 12:17:03
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