WHEN Man Utd beat Barcelona to the signature of wonderkid Arnau Puigmal in 2017, it was seen as a major coup for the Premier League giants.
Puigmal, now 18, was recognised as one of the best young players of his generation at the time.
His development has been further aided by the Red Devils academy, where the cultured midfielder has continued to blossom.
And given Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s pledge to bleed the kids, with the likes of Mason Greenwood, Angel Gomes, Dylan Levitt, James Garner and Tahith Chong all getting a chance in the first team, it won’t be long before Puigmal follows suit.
A physical player who makes intelligent runs from deep positions, the Spaniard scores goals and is comfortable with both feet.
IT STARTED AT ESPANYOL
He was spotted by Espanyol at the age 10 in 2010, and immediately progressed through the Barcelona club’s youth set-up showing lots of promise among his peers.
Puigmal then turned heads at the 2017 Mediterranean International Cup – a tournament where Lionel Messi and Cesc Fabregas starred in previous editions.
Espanyol stunned Manchester United by beating them on route to the final, with Puigmal bossing the midfield.
Then, he went one better – getting on the scoresheet against La Liga rivals Barcelona to lift the trophy.
In July 2017, after catching a glimpse of him firsthand, United snapped up Puigmal and he received international clearance later that year in September.
Puigmal appeared 16 times in all competitions in his first season, scoring three times against Newcastle, Liverpool and Wolves.
In his second season, he was asked to play at right-back with coaches wanting to develop other areas of his game.
His new position still allowed him to get forward, however defensively he improved with United coach Kieran McKenna pushing him along the way.
latest football features
And head of academy Nicky Butt was full of praise for the promising talent earlier this season.
“He has a great attitude to learn and he has quickly picked up English, which will be a great help to him going forward,” he said.
“It is clear to see that he has all the attributes to develop into a top player and have a fine future ahead of him.”
This post written by Jon Boon originally appeared on Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun. Read the full post here.