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L. Román

Lucas Roman: Barcelona's new Argentina wonderkid who has been compared to Lionel Messi

21:44 EAT 20/01/2023
Lucas Roman Messi split
Barcelona secured the signing of 18-year-old Lucas Roman from Ferro Carril, and his former club president has made a lofty comparison to Lionel Messi.
  • Teenager signed for small fee
  • Will play for Barca second team
  • Wonderkid compared to Messi

WHAT HAPPENED? Barcelona signed the teenager from second-tier Ferro Carril for just €1.2 million (£1m/$1.3m) this week. A promising, left-footed attacking player, Roman can play either through the middle or on the wing. He will slot into Barcelona's youth squad, Barca Atletic, having spurned River Plate to join the Catalan giants. And his former club president, Daniel Pandolfi sees a lot of potential in the youngster.

WHAT THEY SAID: "Lucas Roman has a lot of similarities to Leo Messi. The Barca scouts saw that. Obviously he's not at Messi's level yet, but he has similar characteristics," Pandolfi said.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Roman is not the first Argentine to be compared to Messi, and he certainly won't be the last. But the fact that he is a left-footed right winger with undeniable ability on the ball makes the comparison a little too convenient. He's also played under the stewardship of former Barca centre-back Javier Mascherano, only enhancing the links between Roman and the Catalan club.

The youngster hasn't exactly broken out on the big stage yet, with just three goals and one assist to his name in the Argentine second division. But Barca see enough to give him a shot in their highly-rated second team.

IN TWO PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR ROMAN? The 18-year-old will make his move to Barca, where he will continue to develop and perhaps flourish despite unrealistic expectations.