Marcus McGuane: What happened to ex-Arsenal man who joined Barcelona in 2018?

Football Club Barcelona is not a place synonymous with footballers from England.

The last player from English shores to succeed at the club was Match of the Day Host Gary Lineker.

He joined the Catalan side from Everton in 1986 and enjoyed three fairly successful years at Camp Nou, famously scoring a hat-trick against Real Madrid in El Clasico.

It’s been over 30 years since an Englishman made it big at Barcelona, although one man tried to bring an end to that drought in 2018.

Marcus McGuane joined the Blaugrana’s B team from Arsenal as a teenager that year and there was hope he would follow in the footsteps of Lineker.

So, how did the Greenwich-born midfielder’s Barcelona adventure pan out? Sadly, not great…

Marcus McGuane in action for Arsenal
Football Soccer – Arsenal v Manchester City – FA Youth Cup Semi Final Second Leg – Emirates Stadium – 4/4/16 Arsenal’s Marcus McGuane and Manchester City’s Lukas Nmecha in action Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Matthew Childs Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

What happened to McGuane after joining Barcelona in 2018?

The former England under-19 player hit the ground running when he touched down in Catalonia.

He received his senior debut in the Spanish Super Cup a month after arriving and quickly became a mainstay in the B team’s starting XI under Gerard Lopez.

But when Lopez was given the boot following a string of poor results, things went horribly wrong for McGuane.

Marcus McGuane and Lionel Messi at Barcelona

Credit: Marcus McGuane

New manager Francisco Garcia Pimienta preferred local talent in the form of Riqui Puig and Alex Collado, which resulted in McGuane being banished from the squad.

“I felt the impact straight away,” McGuane said in an interview with iNews, per Goal. “(Pimienta’s arrival) happened on a Thursday before a game. We were travelling on the Saturday and I wasn’t even in the squad. It was a bit of a shock. After that it was tough. I never had the same feeling that I had during those first few months.”

Pimienta clearly wasn’t a fan and often deployed McGuane as a winger rather than in his natural midfield role on the rare occasions in which he played him.

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McGuane – who was reportedly well paid at Barcelona – was unsurprisingly shipped out on loan in September of 2019.

He joined Dutch outfit Telstar, making 16 appearances for the club and contributing to four goals (1 goal, 3 assists).

Back to England for McGuane

After that temporary stint in Holland, McGuane signed for Nottingham Forest on a permanent basis in February 2020.

Marcus McGuane with Oxford United
Soccer Football – Pre Season Friendly – Crystal Palace v Oxford United – Selhurst Park, London, Britain – August 25, 2020 Oxford United’s Marcus McGuane in action with Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

The now 23-year-old didn’t make a single appearance for the club’s senior side and was instead loaned to Oxford United for the 2020/21 season.

McGuane made 21 appearances across all competitions for the League One outfit and clearly impressed those in power, because Oxford acquired his services permanently in the summer of 2021.

So the Kassam Stadium is McGuane’s home for now instead of Camp Nou. A downgrade? Of course, but the midfielder is still very young and clearly has the potential to play at the very highest level in the future.

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