One for the Future : Nico González – The ‘New Busquets’?

The development of Nico González at Barcelona B didn’t go unnoticed by the first team coach Ronald Koeman. With his renewal he will be joining the first team for pre-season. He will fight for his dream of making his debut for FC Barcelona.

Time at La Masia & Barcelona B

Nicolás González Iglesias also known as Nico González was born on 3rd of January, 2002 in A Coruña. He started to play football at Montañeros before joining La Masia at the age of 11. Nico won the league under multiple youth teams including Alevin B, Infantil B, Cadet B, Cadet A, Juvenil A. When Nico turned 16 there were doubts if Nico would continue at the club. Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid among other clubs attempted to acquire his services.

At the time his father Fran was a youth coach at Manchester City. But despite interest from other clubs he decided to stay at the club, where his heart was. In the summer of 2018, he got the promotion to the Juvenil A team straight from Cadet A. He skipped the Juvenil B youth team. During his 2 seasons with Juvenil A, he picked up 5 goals and 8 assists playing as a midfielder. In the 2018/2019 Season for Juvenil A, he managed to get 2 goals and 4 assists. The same season he made his debut for Barcelona B just at the age of 17.

Garcia Pimienta noticed the talent of Nicolás González Iglesias. Next, he called him up for the last game of the season. On that day he debuted against CD Castellon. In the 2020/2021 season, he became a key player for Barcelona B. He did that after impressing in his few appearances at the start of the season. With the injuries of Jandro Orellana and Oriol Busquets, Nico found more opportunities to play. He played mostly as a single pivot. With an important role, Nico became the 4th most used player by Garcia Pimienta. In the end he played 1787 minutes and, picking up 2 assists from 24 games.

Playing Style

Similar player: Rodri & Fabian Ruiz

Nico González is a midfielder who can play in multiple positions in the middle of the pitch. His versatility allows him to play as a defensive midfielder, central midfielder or even as an attacking midfielder. During one of the games, he was forced to play at right-back, due to injuries during the game. During his time at youth, Nico grew a lot, which changed his physique a lot and that was difficult for the player to adjust to his playing style. Just like any midfielder from La Masia Nico has excellent passing ability, and with the use of through balls, it helps the player to create dangerous opportunities for his teammates.

Combining it with his tremendous vision and technique Spanish midfielder has no problems being a playmaker, whenever he plays as a pivot or interior. Despite his size, he has incredible control of his body, which allows him to dribble past opponents with ease. In his play, you can witness his admiration for Sergio Busquets. By using his body in a similar way to Busquets he manages to trick his opponents to pass to another player. With great first touch and close ball control, as well as his physique it’s difficult to take away the ball from him.

Even when he is under pressure, he can maneuver out of any dangerous situation, which can be shown, with the player losing the least number of balls in Segunda B this season. During his time at Juvenil A, he played as a pivot to allow more freedom to Ilaix Moriba and Robert Navarro in the attack. However, due to his defensive inconsistency and even laziness, Moriba was needed to drop back at times to form a double pivot with Nico.

Despite his lack of defensive contribution his defending was not one of his weaknesses. He understood when to challenge for a ball. His positioning awareness and tactical understanding of the game helps him to have him available as an option for his teammates. The aspect that Nico needs to improve on, is his long ball ability. His teammate Jandro Orellana has mastered much better than Nico. Despite having some weaknesses during his time at Juvenil A, he managed to improve them under Garcia Pimienta at Barcelona B with regular playing time.

What does the future hold for Nico?

After renewing his contract a few weeks ago until 2024 with a release clause set at €500m, Barcelona wants him to do pre-season with the first team. The club wants him to be in the first team dynamics with a Barcelona B record so that if he isn’t playing with the first team, he would be able to play with Barcelona B in the First RFEF. Nico is liked by Koeman a lot and I think he will be given a proper chance to prove himself. In a few years, Nico Gonzalez could become a replacement for Busquets while his versatility as a midfielder can offer a lot to the first team. It’s only a matter of time when we will see Nico Gonzalez flourish at Barcelona with his talent.

Talent Rating: 9/10

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