One for the Future : Jandro Orellana – The next La Masia Pivot?

Jandro Orellana is another revelation from La Masia, who could take over from Sergio Busquets in a few years. One of Barcelona B captains Jandro is looking for ways to enter first-team dynamics, with him leading Barça B midfield.

Time at La Masia & Barcelona B

Alejandro Orellana Gómez also known as “Jandro Orellana” was born on August 7th, 2000 in Gavà. Jandro started playing football at his hometown team EF Gavà in 2008. After spending 4 years, eventually, he joined RCD Espanyol academy, where he played until 2014. The same year Barcelona showed interest in young Jandro, who eventually joined La Masia’s Cadet B and played under now ex-Juvenil A coach Franc Artiga. After joining La Masia Jandro quickly adapted to the Barcelona system and was called a player with “Barcelona DNA”.

In the 18/19 season at Juvenil Jandro had one of his best individual seasons with 13 goal contributions in 32 matches, while playing as a central midfielder rather than a defensive midfielder. He scored 7 goals and got 7 assists, making him the 3rd top scorer in the team behind Ansu Fati and Alejandro Marques. In 2018 Jandro was part of the squad that won the UEFA Youth League with Barcelona beating Chelsea 3:0 in the final.

He made his debut for Barcelona B the same year against CD Ebro under Garcia Pimienta, while his first for Barça B came only in May of 2019 against Lleida. In the summer he was officially promoted to the subsidiary team with Oriol Busquets leaving on loan. Eventually with Monchu’s departure to Girona Orellana took the DM spot and in the 20/21 season playing a crucial role in the team’s fight for promotion. In the game against UE Olot, he scored a free-kick goal, which was his first goal for Barcelona B. 

In the Spanish Youth Teams

At a young age, Jandro was called up to the Spain U17 team, where he made his debut at the age of 16 years and 7 months. He came on against Poland U17 for the last 18 minutes. The coach was left impressed and eventually, Jandro was called up to Euro U17 with Jandro playing a crucial role up to the final, where he unfortunately suffered an injury against England U17s.

However, the team managed to win on penalties for Jandro to win his first Euro gold medal. In November 2018 he made his official debut for Spain U19 under Santi Denia. Denia also coached Spain U17 at the time Jandro made his debut. And in the summer of 2019 Spain U19 won Euro’s by beating Portugal 2:0 in the final with Jandro playing ten minutes. However, he accumulated 236 minutes, scoring 1 goal and getting an assist during the tournament.

Playing Style

Similar player: Mix of Sergio Busquets & Andrea Pirlo

Jandro Orellana mainly plays as a defensive midfielder but can play as an interior. He is a technically gifted midfielder, intelligent on and off the ball. Jandro is the one who connects the defence, midfield and attack. Spanish midfielder likes to create chances deep from the back. Jandro can be seen picking up the ball from defenders to bring it higher up the pitch. Despite his young age his understanding of the game is one of the best in lower divisions and could be up there with some La Liga midfielder.

He understands when to invite pressure from the opposition to open up space for his teammates. Jandro Combining intelligence with his vision he showcases his incredible passing ability. Whenever he is pressured by an opposition player, he loses his marker. A few seconds later you can see an incredible pass from Jandro, which breaks a few defensive lines. Whenever is needed Jandro pick a rather risky pass option, rather than going with a safe option. Despite this risky passing style, he doesn’t lose many balls in Barcelona’s half. His contribution to attack is one of his best attributes.

Whenever an opportunity arrives Jandro picks out a forward with a long ball from his half, creating a chance for his teammate. Orellana is one of the Segunda B leaders in progressive carries, which eventually lead to Barcelona shots. Jandro developed his attacking attributes during his Juvenil A season when he played as an interior. However, his defensive aspect of the game still needs to be improved.

This season

Under Garcia Pimienta and especially this season he has improved significantly. Jandro himself is a similar player to Busquets, due to exceptional reading of the game and understanding when to pressure the opponent to win a duel. His positioning off the ball usually leads to him winning the ball back in the Barcelona half. Jandro uses his speed to catch up to a player to block a shot or to make a well-timed tackle. Moreover, Jandro Orellana is a set-piece specialist, with him scoring his first Barcelona B goal from a well-taken free-kick and got an assist from a corner with Comas scoring his first goal at the start of the season.

What does the future hold for Jandro?

Jandro Orellana looks like the best possible Busquets replacement in the first team. However, by the looks of it, he won’t receive a chance this season under Koeman. Especially with the first team coach preferring another midfielder Barcelona B in Nico, who can play as a pivot. Orellana’s contract expires this season. But the club has an option to renew his contract for additional 2 seasons until 2023. The club should be looking to trigger that clause in his contract to keep him at the club. As per reports, he will be doing pre-season with the first team and if he convinces Koeman in the summer he could be given a chance in the first team. Jandro Orellana has an extraordinary talent and suits Barcelona midfield to replace Busquets in the future.

Talent Rating: 9/10

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