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Barcelona teen linked to Arsenal sets national record

Antonio Sanabria became his country's youngest ever player when he made his debut for Paraguay on Wednesday night.

Barcelona are never short of a talented player in their academy, even if Premier League clubs do their best to poach the youngsters.

Arsenal convinced 16-year-old defender Julio Plezeguelo to join them this summer, and in July they were linked with another, Antonio Sanabria.

Sanabria turned 17 in March and is a striker who hails from Paraguay, and participated in the under-20 World Cup squad earlier this summer.

He has now been given even more star billing, called up to his nation's full international squad.

Sanabria came on as a substitute as Paraguay pulled off a surprise 3-3 draw against Germany, brought on in the final 10 minutes for former Manchester City and Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz.

It meant he became Paraguay's youngest ever player, breaking a 14 year record held by Aristide Rojas, set in 1989 against Brazil.

Santa Cruz himself made his debut at 17, back in 1999, but was only the sixth youngest debutant prior to Sanabria.

As Sanabria's profile grows, the chances of Barcelona letting him go easily diminish.

New manager Tata Martino has recently called him up to train with the first team, and it may not be too long before he makes his debut at the Nou Camp in the near future. 

image: © Nicholas Raymond

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