Being a 20-year-old next ‘wonderkid’ forward for Barca is a pretty good achievement, sure, but being at the club now for many seasons, and a handful as a first team player, Bojan has in fact been progressively getting worse.
I’m sure everyone has an opinion on Bojan, and bursting onto the scene as an excellent 17-year-old, he was supposed to be the next big thing out of the La Masia. the hype was at its peak when Bojan scored a goal with the first team in a friendly against Egyptian side Al Ahly as a 17-year-old. He then featured in the 2007-2008 season where Rijkaard played him in 48 matches and become the youngest player ever in club history to feature in a league match and to score a goal. Overall, Bojan was one of the bright spots for Barça in that disappointing 2007-2008 season. Bojan had a pretty impressive debut season by scoring 12 goals in all competitions. Not bad at all for a 17-year-old competing with Messi, Eto’o and Henry for minutes.
2008-2009 Pep took over and with the front of Henry, Eto’o, Messi we plundered over 100 goals for and won the treble. Bojan played 40 competitive matches that season and only scored 2 league goals, the others coming from the Copa Del Rey in which he found himself being a more ‘specialist’ player for.
Last season he scored 12 goals, and not a bad haul of 8 league goals in limited appearances due to Ibra coming in the side.
Bojan has made 26 appearances this season, and has only scored 4 times, 2 of them coming in the 8-0 blowout against Almeria which was basically a training drill of a game in the end. With Pedro established and showing his proven goalscoring form, Bojan was never going to get a look in over Messi/Villa. So to the Copa Del Rey, his supposed ‘speciality’ and the real chances for him to shine – and he has failed – scoring only 1 goal. Recent performances by Bojan have shown us a player who is frustrated and low on confidence.
There has always been talk that he should be loaned out, and I for one support this stance. However it must be said that not every “next big thing” eventually turns out that way. Remember Gio Dos Santos? or Freddy Adu over in the US? Sure, at 20, Bojan still has time, however, FC Barcelona needs their first team players to be ready. Can we depend on him in case Pedro, Villa or Messi get hurt? If that happens, then we are depending on a rusty player who is short on confidence. The only remedy is playing fulltime but with this team, who do you dare to bench? Unless Pedro goes through a cold streak, Bojan is going to find minutes hard to come by. So Guardiola and the club have to decide what to do with Bojan for next season.
Rarely do clubs have to worry about 20-year-old phenoms on their team. Unfortunately, Bojan’s case is a rare one where a loan away from the club might just do him good if he ever expects a long-term future with the team. He has the contract extension until 2015 – but even with that security he seems totally short on confidence and just how long can you persist with a player, no matter what his skills are – correct me if I’m wrong but his job is to score goals and ultimately he has to be judged on this. As I said before, Personally I like Bojan and really want him to succeed but even my patience is getting thin. A loan to say, a French or German club may be in his best interest and if he doesn’t seem to be doing well with a change of scenery, then perhaps it’s best if we look to offload him.
What do you guys think about Bojan…what would you like to see done?