Barcelona's Malcom Vows to 'Keep Fighting' for Playing Time Amid Exit Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 1, 2018

LEON, SPAIN - OCTOBER 31:  Malcom of FC Barcelona looks on during the Spanish Copa del Rey match between Cultura Leonesa and FC Barcelona at Estadio Reino de Leon on October 31, 2018 in Leon, Spain.  (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)
Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Barcelona forward Malcom is ready to "keep fighting" after a testing start to life at the Camp Nou.  

The Brazilian joined the club from Bordeaux in the summer and is rated as one of the most exciting prospects in football. However, he's only played 25 minutes in La Liga and made his first start of the campaign on Wednesday in the 1-0 Copa del Rey win against Cultural Leonesa.

Before the game, Malcom took to Instagram to discuss his position at the club, and it doesn't appear he's ready to give up on his Barcelona career, per Guy Atkinson of Goal:

"Regarding some news published in Spain, I want to clarify that I came to Barcelona with many objectives and those that know me know that I am a really determined person.

"I am happy with my evolution in my career and my dreams become a reality with each passing day. My family are also well adapted in the city. In summary, I am going to keep fighting for everything I desire from my career."

LEON, SPAIN - OCTOBER 31: Malcom of FC Barcelona during the Spanish Copa del Rey  match between Cultural Leonesa v FC Barcelona at the Estadio Municipal Reino de León on October 31, 2018 in Leon Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Malcom played 80 minutes in the clash against the third-tier side, which Barcelona won thanks to a stoppage-time goal from Clement Lenglet. The second leg of the tie will be played at the Camp Nou on December 5.

As a result of his lack of action, speculation has been rife that Malcom could be on the move again as soon as January.

According to Mundo Deportivo's Ferran Martinez (h/t MailOnline's Ben Nagle), the winger has asked to leave in the midseason transfer window and has held discussions with manager Ernesto Valverde about his long-term future with the Catalan giants.

Nagle reported that Malcom has suitors in the form of Premier League sides Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, as well as Inter Milan and Roma from Serie A. The latter of that quartet thought they had secured his signing in the summer, only for Barcelona to swoop in and pinch him late on.

As Ben Hayward of the Evening Standard relayed, there are a number of high-profile young players who are struggling to get minutes at Spain's biggest clubs:

Ben Hayward @bghayward

Aleñá: "It was an important day for me because I don't get many opportunities." This is how hard it is for young players at Barça and Madrid now. Even summer signings like Malcom and Vinícius getting their first real chance tonight. So tough.

Malcom would have anticipated competition for his place in the side, but perhaps not quite to this extent. After all, last season in Ligue 1, he showed the ability required to make a difference at the highest level.

Squawka Football provided the winger's impressive numbers from his final year at Bordeaux:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Malcom in t̶h̶e̶ ̶m̶i̶d̶d̶l̶e̶ Ligue 1 in 2017/18: 93 take-ons 92 fouls won 87 chances created 75 shots 12 goals 5 goals outside the box 7 assists 🤔 https://t.co/C9Gjn1Cr4N

He will hope to get more chances in the team prior to January, especially as the calendar gets more congested for Barcelona prior to the winter break and players begin to feel the pace.

If he doesn't, Malcom will be left with a big decision to make, as the 21-year-old will be desperate to get some regular game time at this important phase of his career. The clubs said to be interested in him are huge names in their own right too.