Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has hailed the ‘special’ talent of Munir El Haddadi after the Barcelona teenager was unexpectedly called up to the Spain squad for their Euro 2016 qualifier with Macedonia.
Munir has enjoyed a rapid rise in recent weeks, with Luis Enrique adding the 19-year-old forward to Barcelona’s first-team squad after he had enjoyed an impressive pre-season. He responded with a debut goal in the victory over Elche, something Vicente del Bosque clearly took note of.
Injury to Diego Costa led the Spain manager to bring in another forward as back-up but, rather than a a more obvious re-call for Fernando Torres, Del Bosque decided to overlook the now AC Milan player in favour of a more left-field option.
Munir could well earn his international debut against Macedonia given the seemingly straightforward chance that awaits Spain and, as Fabregas explains, the Barcelona youngster would be deserving of this chance given his performances in training.
Fabregas a fan
"It's all gone pretty fast for him, but people have only been saying good things about him. He doesn't seem to feel any pressure and feels comfortable around his Barcelona team-mates.
"He can play both on the wing and in the centre. His awareness and movement is superb and is excellent at finding space."
Arsenal had been linked with a move to sign Munir in the summer transfer window but, it would appear, Arsene Wenger has missed any remote opportunity he may have had of recruiting the youngster.
Munir has a £10 million release clause written into his contract with Barcelona but, such has his rise to prominence been, his club have moved to commit the player to an improved deal with a significantly higher fee also negotiated.
Given that Munir appears set to establish himself for both club and country, it could be expected that Barcelona will push for a release fee - something compulsory in contacts in Spain - large enough to extinguish any interest in their player.
Arsenal had a window of opportunity to move for Munir while he was still available at an attractive price, but the attacker will likely be beyond their price range once the next transfer period opens in January.
It could be something Wenger lives to regret.