Barcelona have reportedly brought in Eibar youngster Christian Rivera on a loan deal until the end of the 2017-18 season. The defensive midfielder is set to slot in straight into the Barcelona B side. Barcelona reserve an option to make the deal permanent during the tenure of the loan.
Christian Rivera has been a journeyman throughout his young career. Emanating from Sporting Gijon’s youth setup, the player moved through Real Oviedo before finding his way to Eibar. At Eibar, the player established himself as a part of the first-team setup in his debut season itself.
The 20-year-old though, has found minutes hard to come by this season, mainly due to a knee injury suffered in November. However, the player has still managed to record 7 appearances in La Liga this season.
Barcelona’s academy setup, La Masia, is held in high regard and seen by everyone as one of the premier academies in world football. However, recent departures from the club have seen their Barcelona B side devoid of many talents, which, along with the players being loaned out to gain experience, has taken a toll on their Liga Segunda campaign.
Gerrard Lopez’s team is currently floundering at 19th on the table, just 5 points off the bottom. One of the main concerns for Barcelona B has been their lack of support for the defence. Christian Rivera has already proven himself, to an extent, in La Liga and would be a welcome addition to the side.
While Rivera is expected to play for Barcelona B during the tenure of his loan stint, some inspired performances could see Barcelona trigger the option of making his stay permanent. In fact, Barcelona have been looking to lay down a succession plan for Sergio Busquets, with the club being linked to several prospects.
But, if Rivera does manage to make enough of an impression, he might as well make room for his name to be included in the first-team setup in the 2018-19 campaign and quite possibly a permanent spot in the long run.
For now, the 20-year-old will be channeling his energy towards the task at hand, to improve Barcelona B’s fortunes and while doing so, slowly etching his way towards a permanent stay at Barcelona.