Louie Barry has agreed to sign his first senior contract with Barcelona, signing on a three-year deal to move to the reigning La Liga champions.
The West Bromwich Albion academy graduate has been highly impressive in youth level and was even linked to Paris Saint-Germain, but decided to continue his growth with the Spanish heavyweights.
The England U-16 International had earlier rejected a three-year deal from West Brom and becomes the latest English star to move to another country craving something big. The 16-year-old decided to grab his spotlight and move onto a bigger level after Barcelona paid a €130,000 compensation for the teenager.
Moving out from West Brom to Barcelona definitely doesn’t come with its pressure, but the young centre-forward’s proven his mettle in the youth level.
Barry made 16 appearances at youth level for the Baggies last season, scoring four and assisting three goals.
Moreover, in his quests with the England U-16 team, he also scored 10 goals at a tournament in Italy a few months back. West Brom’s academy manager Mark Harrison lauded praise upon him.
“He’s just had an outstanding tournament where he’s scored ten goals in five games. To score ten goals in a tournament for England, when the previous best in that tournament was three goals, is fantastic. As much as I don’t like to publicise young players too much, I think I’d be doing him a disservice if I didn’t.”
Settling into a highly competitive La Masia wouldn’t be a piece of cake, but Barry’s risen beyond obstacles to dazzle everyone he’s faced so far.
Barcelona have put more emphasis on signing younger players, having already roped in Ludovit Reis and Jean-Clair Todibo earlier this year to build a stronger core for the future.
Barry only adds to their revamp of their youth structure, as the Blaugrana are more focused on making their youth system the best in Europe by roping in all the prime talents.
While they had to endure Real Madrid stealing away Japanese sensation Takufusa Kubo recently, Barry’s signing is almost the counter-attack to that.
The teenager definitely has pressure on his shoulders to back up his talent, but with the world-class development techniques at La Masia, the teenager will definitely receive the best aid to amplify his talent even more.
Barca are definitely taking a gamble on trusting a West Brom academy product to be their next big star, but Barry could silence his questioners by becoming the latest Englishman to rise through outside his country.