Transfer Rumors and News

Barcelona 17-year-old academy graduate in line to start against Mallorca – report

Journalist Sergi Capdevila is reporting via SPORT that youth team player Hector Fort could get an opportunity to be in the starting XI on Friday when Barcelona take on Mallorca at home on March 8.

This is mostly because Jules Kounde has had several minutes under his belt this season and the former Sevilla man deserves a rest ahead of the all-important UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg tie against Napoli.

It is to be noted that Kounde has participated in 15 consecutive games, showcasing remarkable consistency by not missing a single second of play this year.

The Frenchman has accumulated an impressive total of 1,380 minutes out of a possible 1,380 in the last two months alone.

Fort’s chance to shine

Given how much Kounde has played this season, Fort is expected to enter the scene as La Liga seems out of sight. This means against Napoli, there would be no margin of error for Barcelona and the team must arrive in the best shape possible.

It is to be noted that Fort made his first team debut in the Champions League group stage match against Antwerp, marking a memorable day despite the less-than-positive outcome for Barça.

The 17-year-old’s skills were further showcased in the Copa del Rey match against Barbastro, where he demonstrated his defensive prowess in duels and delivered a high-quality assist to Raphinha. 

Hector Fort has impressed the Barcelona management (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images)

Fort is in Barcelona’s plans

Fort hasn’t played much in the last five matches for Barça, accumulating only seven minutes to be exact. 

Because of this, he was dropped to the reserve team but against Mallorca, he has a good chance of playing as Kounde has been playing every minute in 2024, leading to a lot of fatigue for him.

Due to the Frenchman’s fatigue, Fort, who can play on both the left and right, might take his place on the right side. Joao Cancelo is expected to stay as a starter despite also being tired from playing a lot.

Despite the back and forth for the youth team player, it is expected that Fort is still part of the sports management’s plans to be part of the first team next year. The club is happy with his performance and the versatility he brings to the team.

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