Arsenal are poised to move for yet another FC Barcelona youngster, with the club tracking 18-year-old forward Munir El Haddadi. talkSPORT’s Transfer Spotlight takes a look at the Spaniard.
Name: Munir El Haddadi Mohamed
Date of birth: September 1, 1995
Birthplace: El Escorial, Spain
Club: FC Barcelona
International appearances: Member of Morocco U20 squad
What’s the latest?
El Haddadi’s youth contract with Barcelona expires on June 30 2014, so it’s no surprise Arsenal have been watching him considering their reputation for picking up the club’s youngsters before they make it to the first team. The Catalans are not keen to let him go however, having already been stung by the experience of Tonny Sanabria, who is due to join Roma in the summer, and it is thought they will offer Munir playing time with Barca B in the Spanish second division in order to encourage him to stay.
Did you know?
1) The Spaniard started out at local side CD Galapagar, where he was spotted by Atletico Madrid scouts. The Madrid side signed him then loaned him out to CF Rayo Majadahonda.
2) At Majadahonda, El Haddadi scored an incredible 32 goals in 30 games, leading to scouts from the likes of Man City, Real Madrid and Barcelona watching him. The youngster opted to move to Barcelona in the summer of 2011, saying that his dream is to one day play at the Camp Nou in the Blaugrana shirt.
3) At Barca, Munir was shifted out to the wing from his preferred position in the middle, but despite the move he continued to excel. Adapting his game by imitating his idol Pedro Rodriguez, Mundo Deportivo note that he impressed with his two strong feet, ability in the air and hard work in defence.
4) Catalan website Latdp describe Munir as having a ‘golden left foot’, goalscoring ability and intelligence. They add that at times he is reminiscent of Rivaldo or Davor Suker.
5) Munir has been particularly deadly for Barca in the UEFA Youth League this season, scoring five goals and assisting a further two in six games.
“Barca are not keen to let him leave. They are backing him to play in the B team next season and, with Tonny Sanabria’s exit to Roma on the horizon, it’s likely that Munir could even have a chance with Barca B this season.”