Every club has certain regrets. They have certain players who they sold and the same players went onto make it big. One such regret for Barcelona is Dani Olmo, who has been impressing a lot at Dinamo Zagreb.
Olmo’s career trajectory has been uncanny. Having failed to break into the Barca first-team after seven years of playing in the academy, Olmo took the brave decision of leaving for Croatia. For a Spaniard, it was a completely new experience. It was something no one had ever seen.
When he had left Barca, the Catalans could not believe it. Olmo’s agent Andy Bara told the Guardian:
“Barcelona refused to accept that Dani had left them, let alone joined Dinamo. They constantly sent him messages saying ‘Where have you gone?’ and ‘What have you done?’”
That is hardly a surprise, considering how he is playing for the club from the Croatian capital. This season, Olmo has contributed to 11 goals in 15 appearances in all competitions for Dinamo, with seven of them coming in the Champions League.
He has been open up about the idea of leaving the club, which explains why Dinamo haven’t played him too much this season. In an interview with Sportske Novosti, he recently said (via Marca):
“I have nothing to hide: I wanted to leave Dinamo, I wanted to move on and join a strong club in the five big leagues. I thought this summer was the best time to leave. Such a separation would have been best for the player and club, it’s when you can get the best transfer.”
He has also expressed frustration at the fact that Dinamo refused to lower their asking price for him, showing how desperate he is to depart Croatia. It seems fair too, as Olmo has scored 32 times, assisting 26 times during his stint at the club.
He impressed for the Spanish Under-21s side in the recent European Championships. He scored thrice, assisting once, also scoring in the final, helping his side win 2-1.
Being Spanish and a former Barcelona player, a potential return will always be named as an option. Sport reported last year that Barca have been constantly keeping an eye on Olmo, ever since he left. They stated that the Catalans will make a move, if a chance arrives.
While those links are old, ESPN stated earlier this month that Olmo was still being tracked by Barca, who could make a move.
Olmo is an attacking midfielder by trade, but can also play on either side of the midfield. He thrives on being given the freedom to roam behind the striker. He has constantly shifted from playing on the left, right and centrally for Dinamo.
Against Shakhtar in the Champions League recently, the 21-year-old did start on the right. But he often found himself in other parts of the pitch too. That is a reflection of how the player loves the freedom behind the striker.
At a club like Barcelona, he might not get it. With the club still very much dependent on Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele there too, Olmo will not get a first-team spot. Neither will he get the room to manoeuvre as he can at Dinamo.
A Barca move would be a bigger step-up than what his career needs. He needs a club where there is a guarantee of first-team football. He is 21 and this is the age that demands regular football.