Earlier this week, Arsenal academy graduate Marcus McGuane made his debut for the Barcelona first team, and afterwards he talked about that ‘massive achievement’.
Barcelona faced Espanyol in the Supercopa de Catalunya on Wednesday. For those who don’t know, the Supercopa is run by the Catalan Football Federation. It sees the region’s highest ranking two sides face off for the trophy.
As Barcelona have busy schedule right now, they rested some of their stars for the match. Marcus McGuane came into the squad, and appeared from the bench in the 77th minute, making him the first Englishman to play for the club since Gary Lineker. After the match he spoke to the media about his debut.
“It was a massive experience, and a massive achievement for me and my family,” he said. “Words can’t really describe how it felt walking out there.
Former Arsenal youngster Marcus McGuane on his Barcelona debut. pic.twitter.com/LxafW1kgo5
— Arsène's Son (@hughwizzy) March 7, 2018
“A lot of people told me when I signed that Gary Lineker was the last English person to play (for Barcelona). I got a lot of messages yesterday, when people found out I was in the squad, and today. To know that I’m the next English player to play for Barcelona after Gary Lineker, that’s some achievement.”
For the most part McGuane will still probably spend the remainder of the season with Barcelona B. That’s generally where he’s played so far, with four appearances since his January move. He finished up the interview talking about his aims for the rest of the year.
“Hopefully I just can carry on pushing on with the B team and get as many games as possible,” he said. “If I get any opportunities to go over with the first team, show the boss what I can do. If there’s any pre-season opportunities, just take them.”
McGuane might well look forward at getting more opportunities this season, but it’s difficult to overstate his achievements already. At just 18 years old he made his senior debut for Arsenal, and at 19 he made it for Barcelona.
It’s a big moment for the player, and a testament to the progress of the Arsenal academy. Hopefully they can hold onto the rest of their talented youngsters.