Who is Konrad De La Fuente?
La Masia product Konrad de la Fuente is leaving the Nou Camp after 8 years, joining French outfit Marseille on a 4-year contract with medicals to come early this week. The US international has been a highly-touted prospect for years but is still just 19 years of age. De la Fuente made just 3 total appearances for the Barcelona senior team, spending most of his time with Barcelona B where he notched 6 goals and 4 assists in just over 1700 minutes this season. However, with Depay and Aguero joining the Spanish giants for the 2021/22 season, Konrad’s chances of a breakthrough shrunk even further in what is one of the most crowded forward groups in the world.
The electric winger will look to earn consistent minutes and help reignite one of the world’s biggest sleeping giants in Marseille. With just 1 senior USMNT cap to his name, he’ll also hope to perform well enough to put himself on Gregg Berhalter’s radar. Unfortunately for Konrad, winger is perhaps the US Men’s deepest position group, with the likes of Pulisic, Reyna, Aaronson, Weah, and more already have cemented their places in nearly every competitive squad for the foreseeable future.
De la Fuente joins a Marseille team that finished 5th in Ligue 1 last season and will compete in the Europa League next season. While his breakthrough never came with Barcelona, this move gives him a chance for consistent first-team minutes. He’ll compete with the likes of 34-year-old Dimitri Payet along with another hot prospect in 19-year-old Luis Henrique who played just over 800 minutes for Marseille last season. Florian Thauvin has joined Mexican side Tigres on a free transfer which frees up almost 3400 minutes on the right-wing.
Fans may expect Konrad to earn a starting spot early on, but expectations need to be tempered. Payet and Henrique have both been at Marseille and have the trust of the manager, not to mention how raw Konrad’s game still is. Patience will be key for those keeping tabs on Konrad’s development, but with European football and a thin winger group for Marseille, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him at least be the man to start in place of Payet when the manager chooses to give him a rest.
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