USMNT wonderkid with a Barcelona imprint! Rokas Pukstas gets high praise after leaving Blaugrana for Hajduk Split

Rokas Pukstas Hajduk Split 2022-23
United States Under-20 star Rokas Pukstas is catching attention with his excellent performances at Hajduk Split this season.
  • Pukstas shining in Croatia
  • Joined Hajduk from Barcelona academy
  • Compared to Spain star Dani Olmo

WHAT HAPPENED? The 18-year-old has developed into a first-team star at the Croatian giants, scoring four goals in 17 league games. The winger and attacking midfielder also played a key role in the Under-19s making it to the UEFA Youth League final, where they lost 5-0 to Dutch side AZ this week.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Oklahoma native Pukstas has earned some comparisons to RB Leipzig star and Barcelona target Dani Olmo, who spent time at La Masia, impressed at Dinamo Zagreb and then moved to Germany. The comparisons come not only because of Pukstas' impressive displays but also as a result of his versatility given he has filled in at central midfield, attacking midfield and on the right wing.

AND WHAT'S MORE: Pukstas came through the Kansas Academy before joining Barcelona's youth system in the United States. Hajduk then picked him up and added him to their academy in 2020. He is set to feature at the U20 World Cup this year and is tipped as one of the top players to watch at the tournament.

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United States interim coach Anthony Hudson will be keeping an eye on the rising star

Anthony Hudson USMNT 2023

WHAT NEXT FOR PUKSTAS? The teenager will be hoping to make the squad for the U20 World Cup in Indonesia. The United States' first game is against Ecuador on May 20.