Dani Olmo is another one out of the dozens of players that Barcelona regret letting go. A player who was born to play for Barcelona. The performance that he put in on Monday proved once more just how much the Catalans have missed out on.
Olmo’s path to glory differs from the one that most la Masia graduates usually opt for. In search of faith in his capacities, he moved to Dinamo Zagreb, where he would develop in their infamous youth ranks before bursting onto the European scene ahead of anyone else. This turned out to be a terrific choice, as some excellent outings in the Champions League group stage in 19/20 earned Dani a move to RB Leipzig.
Under Julian Nagelsmann, the young Spaniard occupied various positions and polished many facets of his game. Acting as a winger, false 9 or attacking midfielder, Olmo would always add something extra to Leipzig’s attack, while his pressing and spatial awareness rapidly improved. This made many big clubs take notice, given his versatility and understanding of space would always come in handy.
Yet Leipzig’s game can’t be described as positional, so it was in the Spanish national team that he would finally feel in place. Luis Enrique never doubted him, and Dani would soon become a crucial member in the team. Technical, position-aware, hardworking and relatively selfless, he represents exactly what Lucho demands from his wingers.
Against Sweden, Olmo put on an absolute exhibition. It’s amazing how he always manages to detach himself from his marker and find himself in space. His arrivals into the box, his timing, pressing, his character… Everything indicates Dani is special, and his ceiling seems a lot higher than what he currently shows.
A player who spent his early youth career away from the spotlight, Dani Olmo is the proof that it’s not just a conventional pathway that is the key to success. No wonder many top sides are ready to splash out in order to lure him into their team. I would love to bring him back to Barça, but it is perhaps a little too late now.