Barcelona are on the cusp of signing 16-year-old German wonderkid Noah Darvich, according to transfer insider Fabrizio Romano.
Already well-known in scouting circles, the attacking midfielder has quite the reputation and his development in Catalonia will be well worth keeping an eye on.
We’ve collated everything you need to know about Barcelona’s latest rising star.
The story so far
Born a couple of months after Germany hosted the 2006 World Cup in a small town just south of Freiburg, Darvich joined the city’s youth ranks as a child and has steadily developed his talents through his teenage years. He’s of Iraqi descent and eligible to play for Iraq.
Hailing from the same region as Jurgen Klopp, Germany’s Black Forest, Darvich quickly caught the attention of the German FA and has received national team call-ups at Under-16 and Under-17s levels.
In May, it was reported that Arsenal were closely monitoring the youngster. At the time, Darvich was making a name for himself with a starring role as the captain in Germany’s Under-17 European Championship triumph in Hungary.
He scored Germany’s first goal of the tournament in a 4-0 victory over Portugal, and they never let up from there. They won all three group stage matches, scoring 10 goals, and Darvich was a near ever-present throughout their run to lifting the trophy, though he did miss Germany’s first penalty of their shootout victory over France in the final.
The youth tournament was also notable for the performances of La Masia starlet Lamine Yamal, who shone with four goals for Spain. The prospect of the pair of them, regarded as two of the outstanding players in their age group in Europe, linking up at Barcelona is certainly an exciting one.
As Darvich’s stock grew, it had been suggested in the press that Freiburg became increasingly resigned to losing one of their top talents. Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and at least one other Premier League club besides Arsenal were all tracking the 16-year-old, but it appears as though Barcelona have won the race for his signature.
GOAL report that Barcelona will pay in the region of €3million. He’s into the final year of his current deal with his boyhood club, which partly explains the low fee.
EXCLUSIVE: Barcelona are set to sign German top talent Noah Darvich from Freiburg, deal in place for 2006 born midfielder — here we go! 🔵🔴🇩🇪 #FCB
Considered one of most interesting talents in his position, deal done as Barça sources confirm. pic.twitter.com/939iYGsHzf
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 4, 2023
Style of play
Darvich is left-footed and has been described as a hybrid attacker, with the ability to play a number of advanced positions. As well as feature on his natural left side, the teenager is able to drift in from the right or play as more of a playmaker in a central area.
His profile and outstanding technical ability makes him a classic candidate to join the storied youth ranks of Barcelona, while it’s also no surprise that he was reportedly seen as a natural fit to join Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal.
Given his age and relative inexperience, any kind of prominent first-team role in Xavi Hernandez’s La Liga champions appears unlikely in the upcoming season. It’s expected that he’ll join Rafa Marquez’s Barca Atletic side and spend the foreseeable future getting further acquainted with the possession-focused style that Barcelona are famous for playing and drilling into their academy prospects.
However, Pedri – who joined at the age of 17 from Las Palmas – has demonstrated there’s a pathway for youthful new arrivals. Yamal became Barcelona’s youngest-ever debutant last season, so there could certainly be opportunities on the horizon for Darvich.
Le monde va découvrir qui est Noah Darvich 🇩🇪 pic.twitter.com/lplkGEA6E4
— 𝐀𝐁𝐃𝐎𝐔 🇲🇦🇳🇱 (@MarshallFCB) August 4, 2023
What’s been said
Football Talent Scout gave Darvich a 9/10 potential rating and said he’s an “extremely skillful and intelligent player, who likes to have the ball at his feet, where he is able to make the difference at any time with his dribbling skills and ability to play the final ball” and “a spectacular dribbler with futsal-esque close control, who is able to make effective solo runs to beat the defensive line.”
“He is a good dribbler with very good technique. He is very creative” Nicklas Scheifers, journalist for Fussball Transfers, told Foot Mercato.
“The SC Freiburg midfielder was brilliant against Portugal, was decisive against France and closed the group as a star in this first round against Scotland,” a report from Marca stated during his Under-17 Euros.
“For PSG and for the ‘talent scouts’ of the giants of the English Premier League it is not a surprise: they have been following their evolution for a long time. In Germany, clubs like Bayern know him perfectly. The ’10’ of the German team does not go unnoticed due to vision of the game, technical resources, physical splendour and personality, he is the captain for a reason.”