This status is reflected in the decision to award the 19-year-old Philippe Coutinho’s number 14 shirt and officially promoting him to the first team from Barcelona B. Since then, his role has been to come on in the second half to bring energy and fresh legs.
Pedri’s reappearance, of course, has pushed Nico further down the pecking order. Contending with the Canarian, Gavi, Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets for a starting place in Barcelona’s midfield isn’t a simple task, after all. Competition is fierce.
But rotations are needed as we enter the final stretch of the season and Nico is going to get more opportunities to impress from the very first minute, potentially starting tonight against Napoli and against Valencia at the weekend.