Konrad de la Fuente - US U20 - holding off French player

US men's national team prospect Konrad de la Fuente has yet to make his first-team debut for Barcelona, but that could stand to change in the near future.


Barcelona have confirmed that 18-year-old sensation Ansu Fati has undergone surgery to repair a torn meniscus, and that the injury will keep him out of action for four months. It will deprive fans of seeing the world's best young talents for a lengthy period of time, but when it comes to who will the void, it could mean that it's Konrad's time to shine.


There are a couple of factors working in the 19-year-old American's favor, one being that he's already been included in the matchday squad multiple times this season, which suggests manager Ronald Koeman would be plenty comfortable putting him into a first-team match. On top of that, Koeman is on the record saying that he rates Konrad highly and that he's been very pleased with his progression. 


MundoDeportivo's Edu Polo reported that Koeman said he's "delighted" with what the attacker has shown on the training ground, where he's already been practicing extensively with the first team. 


Koeman mentioned Konrad's name among a group of other talented youngsters for the club, but did make a point of singling out the young attacker.


"If I had to highlight one of the youngsters, I would say Konrad, I am really happy with him," Koeman said back in September.


As such, US fans wouldn't be blamed for getting their hopes up of a first-team debut for Konrad, who is also joined at Barcelona by another USMNT up-and-comer in Sergiño Dest.


Konrad has played for the US at the U-16, U-18 and U-20 levels and could be in line for his first USMNT senior cap, as he was one of 24 players called into US camp by coach Gregg Berhalter ahead of the team's upcoming friendlies against Wales and Panama.


It's no guarantee that Fati's absence will get Konrad his first-team debut, but it's certainly worth keeping an eye on.