Alen Halilovic's transfer to Barcelona had been announced for several months already, but following the suspension of the club's transfer ban, Inside Spanish Football can now confirm the deal has officially gone through.
The youngster will cost the club roughly €2 million in transfer fees, and he has already put pen to paper on a five-year contract that will see him stay at the club until 2019.
The 17-year-old Croatian super talent was introduced to the press on Monday, as you can see in this video uploaded by Barcelona's official Youtube channel:
Inside Spanish Football's Ameen Rabbani was able to grab a quote from the youngster, who told reporters he had been a fan of the club all his life:
"This is a great day for me, I’m very happy. I’m a big fan of Barcelona, I have been all my life. I’ve watched Barca B this season and they’ve played great football."
The young playmaker will start his career in Spain with Barcelona B, as his frame still leaves plenty to be desired in order to cope with the strong pace we often see in La Liga.
The Croatian international will receive the opportunity to develop slowly inside the club's structure, which is famed for bringing along young talents, and with the presence of Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez, the Blaugrana will have no direct need for another senior playmaker in the near future.
Halilovic greatly impressed during his time with Dinamo Zagreb, and his presence will give fans reason to tune into some Barca B matches starting next season. This fan of the club certainly plans to do so:
The player's name apparently also opens up a world of possibilities when it comes to puns:
Barca B's coach Eusebio Sacristan previously already complimented the youngster, calling him one of the most promising young footballers in Europe, according to Barcastuff:
Some pundits will question the player's decision to move to such a big club at this stage in his career, as Zagreb no doubt could have given the player more minutes in the senior side.
But the Croatian league can't be compared to La Liga, and the training he will receive at Barcelona will in part be aimed at learning how to play in the club's intricate system, which places a high emphasis on passing and possession.
Halilovic has all the potential in the world and could be a future Ballon d'Or winner, and there's no reason to believe Barcelona won't be able to nurture his talents.
We may not hear much of the player in the next two years, but that would only be a good thing. The 17-year-old needs time, and there are few clubs in world football who know this as well as the Blaugrana do.
One thing is certain, however: With the arrival of Halilovic, it looks like Barcelona's future in the middle of the pitch is now secure beyond the eventual retirements of Xavi and Iniesta.
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