Osasuna eye Barcelona starlet Ez Abde on loan

Barcelona prospect Ez Abde, who made his first-team breakthrough last season, is reportedly a loan target for CA Osasuna this summer.

According to Diario de NavarraCA Osasuna are plotting a raid on fellow La Liga club Barcelona for the signing of winger Ez Abde on a season-long loan deal in the summer transfer window.

Abde Ezzalzouli, known as Ez Abde, arrived at Barcelona only last summer, joining from Hercules CF. The 20-year-old linked up with the club’s B team but was handed his senior breakthrough by interim manager Sergi Barjuan in late October last year in a 1-1 draw against Deportivo Alaves, just before the arrival of Xavi Hernandez.

Upon taking over the reins of the club, Xavi decided to keep Abde around the first-team setup due to injuries to the likes of Ansu Fati, Ousmane Dembele and later Memphis Depay. And the young winger took his chances, impressing with his speed, trickery and work ethic out on the flanks.

Abde scored his first and only goal for Barcelona in an away La Liga game against Osasuna, where he tortured their full-back, Nacho Vidal. The youngster had to return to the B team after January, though, as the Catalans brought in reinforcements such as Ferran Torres, Adama Traore and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

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Abde did well upon returning to the second team, finishing the campaign with three goals and seven assists from 21 matches in the RFEF First Division. But, his pathway to Xavi’s side remains blocked as the Blaugrana are planning to bring in Raphinha or Angel Di Maria to replace Ousmane Dembele, who himself could end up staying.

So, there is a possibility of Abde being loaned out to continue his development elsewhere, and Osasuna are keeping a close eye on the situation. It is said that manager Jagoba Arrasate was impressed with the 20-year-old’s display at El Sadar when he scored his only senior goal and wants to add him to his roster in the summer.

However, Osasuna’s pursuit of the young winger will not be straightforward. Firstly, they will have to face competition from fellow La Liga side Real Betis, who are also keen on signing Abde. Apart from that, there also remains the possibility that Xavi and Barcelona decide to keep the 20-year-old at the club as they might be unable to bring in their intended targets due to the club’s financial situation.

Another issue for the La Liga outfit would be paying Abde’s wages. While he is currently on a low salary, a renewal as a first-team player at Barcelona would see his earnings increase. And Osasuna might be unable to afford those wages, making things complicated. So, it remains to be seen if Los Rojillos sign Abde from Barcelona or look at other options.

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