Less than three months after Marcus McGuane rejected the chance to join Rangers from Premier League giants Arsenal, Barcelona’s academy director has tipped him to become the first Englishman to represent the Catalan giants since Gary Lineker.
McGuane has already appeared in that famous blue and red shirt in the Catalan Super Cup against Espanyol and, according to Jose Mari Bakero, a competitive debut for arguably Europe’s best side could be within his grasp.
“Let me be extremely clear: we never, ever buy footballers to sell them,” Bakero said in an interview with The Mail.
“We bought McGuane with the idea he can go to the first team. We believe he has the qualities but only if he works hard.”
This will be easier said than done. It goes without saying that competition for first-team places is rather fierce at Barcelona and, even more worryingly for McGuane, young hopefuls do not get the chances as frequently as they did at the height of La Masia’s fame during the reign of Pep Guardiola.
A rising, rejuvenated Rangers side would have given the teenager a far better chance of regular first-team football with Graeme Murty building his team around talented, hungry youngsters like Jason Cummings, Alfredo Morelos, Ross McCrorie and Greg Docherty.
But if McGuane fulfils Bakero’s expectations and becomes a first-team player at Barcelona in the next few years, even the most ardent Rangers supporter will have to admit that he made the right decision snubbing Ibrox.