A former Ireland youth international could make his first-team debut for Barcelona this evening as Marcus McGuane one of a number players called up from the Barca B side to face Espanyol in the Catalan Super Cup final tonight.
McGuane had represented Ireland at u-17 level but has since switched allegiance to England – making appearances for his birth country at u-17, u-18 and u-19 level.
The defensive midfielder qualifies for Ireland through his grandparents who hail from Cork and Portlaoise respectively, and lined out for Ireland at the European U-17 Championships in 2015, under the name Marcus Agyei-Tabi.
The 19-year-old moved to Barcelona from Arsenal during the January transfer window, having plied his trade at the Emirates since the age of six. He signed a three-year deal at the Catalan club, with his contract featuring a buyout clause of €25m.
A dream come true. Today I signed for the biggest club in the world and tomorrow I start work. What a special day it has been for me and my family. Now I am ready to start this new chapter and challenge?? @FCBarcelona @FCBarcelonaB #ForçaBarça #FCBarcelona pic.twitter.com/fHsOb8z6nM
— Marcus McGuane (@marcusmcguane58) January 30, 2018
He has since made four appearances for Barcelona’s B team since joining the club, and could now well become the first England international of any form to represent the La Liga side since Gary Lineker in 1989.
Should he make an appearance tonight, it won’t be McGuane’s first senior appearance – the midfielder emerging from the bench twice in Arsenal’s Europa League campaign against BATE Borisov and Red Star Belgrade.
With the likes of Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic on hand to mentor him into senior action – the man who once lined out for the Boys in Green will surely only further improve at the Camp Nou.
McGuane could well be another name to add to the list of ones that got away from Ireland in years to come, but only time will tell.
Jordan Norris, Pundit Arena