Reports in Spain suggest Barcelona B captain Roger Riera is poised to join Nottingham Forest.
The La Liga giants announced that they would not be extending Riera’s contract, a huge surprise for those who follow the club. The 19-year-old year old has been raised at La Masia, learning the Barcelona way for the past nine years. Now, he's thought to be close to joining Forest.
Known for his charisma and leadership qualities, the young defender has captained every team he has played for. Riera helped win a league title each of those years and led his team to two other prestigious trophies in the span; the Nike Premier Cup 2010 with a 3-1 win over Mexico's Pachuca FC, and the first UEFA Youth Champions League this past April, where he led his team to glory with a 3-0 win against Benfica.
If speculation is true and he does join the Championship side, then the Tricky Trees are in for a treat. Riera has a lot of desire to win, which could be key for the club's promotion fight.
On top of that, Riera is great with the ball at his feet - not a surprise after nine years at such an incredible academy set-up. He is good in the air and at just over 6ft tall, he is unlike most other Barcelona youth defenders whom are usually short yet extremely quick.
I think he will be able to compete physically in the English game just fine.
Why the Spanish side are allowing their youth team captain to leave is up for debate, as there has been no report stating why. It could be due to a bust-up between manager Eusebio Sacristán, but that is pure guess work.
Nevertheless, Nottingham Forest fans should be ecstatic at this potential arrival, as there has only ever been good things said about the 19-year-old.
Having been captain for all the Spanish youth-level sides, you can only assume his ambition is to become the captain of the national team in the future. He would be a major coup for Stuart Pearce at the City Ground.
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