Mario Gotze, Ioannis Fetfatzidis, Alan Dzagoev and Ryan Gauld are just some of the players that have been dubbed the ‘new Messi’, and Barcelona have reportedly signed the latest one.
According to the EFE Agency, per Goal, the Catalan giants have secured a deal for 16-year-old Independiente midfielder Lucas Patanelli.
Real Madrid were also tracking the youngster but Barcelona have reportedly tied up a deal.
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They have paid $4 million for a 50 per cent share in the Argentine and can bring him over to join the La Masia academy whenever they see fit.
Spanish newspaper Marca reported in October that Patanelli had signed a pre-contract agreement with Real Madrid after visiting their facilities in the Spanish capital.
Check out Patanelli's skills
Whatever happened to that move isn’t quite clear. Regardless, it would seem the midfielder will be playing for one European giant in the near future.
Barcelona is perhaps the better option for any young prospect given their track record of developing talent. Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets all came through the La Masia academy to become world-class players.
Martin Odegaard was a similar story
The two Spanish giants are always on the lookout for the game’s next star and the case of Martin Odegaard will likely unnerve Patanelli.
Odegaard signed for Madrid in 2015 from Norwegian side Stromsgodset as a 16-year-old tipped to become one of the game’s greatest.
But, a year on from the move, the Norway international has been restricted to appearances for Madrid’s second-string Castilla side.
That’s not a major concern, but the scrutiny Odegaard is currently under is incredibly intense. He perhaps could have continued for another few seasons in his home country.
Or in Germany, with Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach. Their sporting director Max Eberl recently claimed Odegaard would have Champions League experience if he had opted to move to Borussia-Park.
“Sure, you could say what would Gladbach be able to do against the biggest clubs in Europe?," Eberl told Kicker, per Goal.
“But I am convinced Odegaard would be a Bundesliga player in Gladbach.
“He would have played Champions League with us. At Real he has a hard time at the moment.”
Odegaard in England?
There were reports last year that Odegaard was desperate to leave Madrid on loan in order to get first-team experience.
The Daily Mail even linked him with a move to the English Championship, where Odegaard would be in for a massive culture shock.
Where Spanish football is known for its artistry, the English game is much more physical. Defenders wouldn’t think twice about smashing Odegaard to the floor if he attempted to dance past them.
Yet Cristiano Ronaldo honed his talents in England, and look at how he turned out.
Should Barcelona let Patanelli stay in Argentina or bring him to Spain as soon as possible? Have your say in the comments section below!