Barcelona have moved swiftly to renew the contracts of two of their most promising young stars by renewing the contracts of midfielder Sergi Samper and Munir el Haddadi. Both players have signed contracts which extend their current deals till 2019 with Samper’s buyout clause being raised to 50 million euros and Munir’s being raised to 60 million euros.
Samper who has constantly been linked with a move to Arsenal has repeatedly demonstrate his willingness to be patient in achieving his dream of playing for the Blaugrana. He turned down the opportunity to leave for Arsenal with team mates Hector Bellerin and Jon Toral and that decision is now bearing fruit. Samper, a defensive midfielder joined the Blaugrana as a 6 year old in 2001 and has made his way steadily through the youth team ranks. He has been called the Pirlo of the youth system and compared to both Xavi and Busquets due to his positioning and ability to read the game. He made his debut for the senior team under coach Luis Enrique during the Champions League game against APOEL in 2014. Last season he played with Barcelona B playing in 29 games. He also made 7 appearances with the senior team with 3 of them coming in the Copa del Rey.
Munir first shot to fame leading Barcelona’s youth team to the inaugural UEFA Youth league title in 2014 topping both the goal-scoring charts (11 goals) as well as the assist charts (5 assists) in just 10 games including this spectacular lob in the final against Benfica. He made his senior team debut in 2014 versus Elche and scored on his debut becoming the third youngest goalscorer in Barcelona history after Lionel Messi and Bojan Krkic. He played 26 games with the first team last season scoring 8 goals including a crucial strike away to Malaga with Neymar out injured that helped secure the la liga title. He also finished as joint top scorer in the Copa del Rey the highlight of which was this lovely finish against Espanol.
Just how many games both players play this season and how much playing time they receive given the signings of Denis Suarez and Andre Gomes and the intent to sign another forward remains to be seen. Samper has also been linked with a loan move away from Barcelona to get more first team games.