Former Manchester City wonderkid Joan Roman off the mark for Barcelona

FC Barcelona

Joan Roman was a player who Manchester City had high hopes for. But now he continues his progression at Barcelona.

Manchester City have long been attempting to acquire the best youth talents from around Europe, but last summer saw a small step back in that plan.

Joan Roman, a diminutive playmaker, was highly rated at City after signing from Espanyol in 2009.

One of his final games for City was one in which he bagged a hat-trick against Morecambe for their Elite Development Side (EDS), outshining Carlos Tevez on his return from his self-imposed absence.

However Roman had allowed his contract to expire without re-committing, and last June the club's fears were concerned, he sealed a switch to Barcelona.

He was clearly judged talented enough for the Blaugruna to bring into their academy at 19, a rarity given the talent they already had at their disposal.

Roman played the season for Barcelona's B side, scoring twice and providing two assists, but only featured in four of the club's first 19 games.

Over the second half of the campaign he began to force his way into the side, even if he would mostly be used as a substitute.

But things are looking up for the 20-year-old, for he scored his first goal for Barcelona's senior side in a pre-season friendly on Saturday.

Roman came off the bench to net the seventh goal in a 7-0 rout of Norwegians Valerenga, a match which featured a goal from none other than Lionel Messi.

It's a push to expect Roman to get near the first team this season, but the goal and even his appearance is a sign he is a player very much in mind for the club's future.

With Barcelona B's star performers Gerard Deulofeu and Luis Alberto on Merseyside this season, there is an increased likelihood of him playing a prominent role for the side in 2013/14.

The weekend can be taken as a sign he is ready to step in; and continue his journey to eventually arrive as a superstar.

image: © mariosp

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