Munir El Haddadi is one of the hottest names in football these days. The young striker, who actually turned 19 today, is a product of Barcelona’s La Masia and is expected to be a regular face in the first team in the coming seasons.
With Luis Suarez currently suspended and having a lack of forwards in the squad, Munir has been with the first team since the preseason and may just stay with Luis Enrique’s team for a bit longer. However, no one quite knows what plans the club has for him this year.
As of now, it is very clear that Munir’s future is at Barcelona. Yet, this season could see the striker of Moroccan decent stay in the first team or return to the B team in the upcoming weeks. There are several possibilities at this point.
The real question seems to be what the Catalan club can expect from the 19-year-old this season. Let’s take a look, shall we?
To begin with, it is very unlikely that Munir will remain a first-team player all season. While it is true that he has the talent to stay in the squad, the return of Luis Suarez will take playing time away from the starlet.
Without plenty of playing time to go around, Munir will likely return to the B team. It would not be wise to keep him on the bench for long stretches this season, so a return to the reserve side makes the most sense. Then again, just being with the likes of Lionel Messi on a daily basis in training cannot be overstated either.
Until the day that Munir likely returns to the B team, he will be a regular face for La Blaugrana.
Munir has been named in the starting lineup of Barcelona’s first two games of the new season, and even scored his first goal for the club in his debut. It’s clear that Enrique is a big fan of the 19-year-old and should hand him several more matches in the next few weeks.
Whether you view playing Munir so much this soon as possibly harmful or not, one can’t deny that the kid is gaining a ton of experience that will only benefit him in the long run. Some may say that this is dangerously close to what happened with Bojan Krkic, but the talent levels are not the same by any means.
Fans should rest easy knowing that Munir is being handed the chance to grow on a daily basis and that will make him an even better player down the road. His teammates at Barcelona will push him to be better and it already looks like it is paying off.
At the same time, the club must also be careful not to put too much pressure on the young striker.
It is true that Munir has been a hyped player for some time now, but he must be given the chance to grow, which also means he has to have the room to make mistakes. Part of growing is facing failure, and that is something that Munir has not had to deal with yet.
Barcelona should expect to see many brilliant nights from the 19-year-old and a few great goals as well. He will link up well with Messi and Iniesta and may even claim a role in the team if all goes well.
However, the club must also expect to see Munir have his difficult nights too. At his age, talent is everything, but it can only take you so far. He will face strong defenses and tough opponents, and the club must be ready to help him grow when things are going wrong.
With every young player, coaches must balance the amount of pressure they allow them to carry. If Barcelona truly wants to see Munir reach the level that so many believe he will, they have to be extra careful at how they utilize him and how much pressure they place on his young shoulders.
So what can Barcelona expect from Munir this season?
La Blaugrana should expect this bright young kid to impress a lot and grow every day. They should expect him to have a few truly awe-inspiring moments. But they should also expect things to go badly on some occasions, and when those times do come, they must be ready to help Munir grow as a player and as a person.
Barcelona fans, be prepared to cheer for Munir and give him your support every time he steps on the pitch. But you must also be ready to show forgiveness and patience to a player who already has more pressure on his shoulders than any 19-year-old should ever have to carry.
What should Barcelona expect from Munir El Haddadi this year? Should the striker officially join the first team? Leave your thoughts and comments below!