The roster overhaul taking place at FC Barcelona under new manager Ronald Koeman has made it difficult to measure just how much progress American winger Konrad De La Fuente is making in his journey to the first team, but the youngster’s latest performance drew the kind of praise that suddenly doesn’t make it sound unrealistic to think he has a chance of sticking around.
“We know we have really good young players here,” Koeman said after Barcelona’s 3-1 friendly win against Girona. “The important thing is being involved in training at a good level and then taking that into these friendly games.
“If I had to highlight one of the youngsters, I would say Konrad, I am really happy with him. But we also have Pedri, Riqui. We have great a future ahead of us.”
The praise from the Dutch manager comes after Konrad’s latest first-team performance, and just his second overall. The Miami-born speedster played the final 30 minutes of Wednesday’s friendly, looking sharp as he created chances and showed off his trademark ability to take on defenders.
De La Fuente still projects more as a Barcelona B player for the upcoming season, but he has impressed the team’s new manager, giving him a chance to potentially stick with the first team, especially if Barcelona is unable to bring in the influx of transfer reinforcements it was hoping to secure in the wake of the team’s disappointing 2019-2020.