He has the half smile of the timid kid who has rarely done something wrong. Blonde, with straight hair and a lanky appearance, Sergi Samper Montaña (Barcelona, 1995) is that interior that dazzled us as a kid and has evolved to become a pivot who, if nothing impedes it, promises to offer us great nights at the Camp Nou.

He could have been a great tennis player. Those who saw him at the Barcino Club confirm it, but his grandfather Jordi changed his future by getting a tryout at the FC Barça Escola. It took Samper but a few minutes to convince the coaches and since the beginning he became one of the pearls of the blaugrana academy. That kid with the bowcut made everyone look at him. When his generational teammates were still looking on the ground in search of the ball, Sergi was playing with his held high, his eyes searching for the free man. He has always shown a privileged intelligence for this game, but he would have not been able to develop like he did without the teachers that made him grow: Jordi Condom, Sergi Domènech, Víctor Sánchez, García Pimienta and Òscar García - an ideal path for the evolution of a boy who turned into a man with his move from the interior position to the pivot role.

He was the leader of a marvelous generation, probably the best in the club’s recent history. From his privileged watchtower of 181 centimeters he is a player with precise passes, ideal for building from the back and giving the game continuity. Samper has a great tactical intelligence, even if he still has to mature in physical and mental aspects. At 16 years old he was already participating in Pep Guardiola’s trainings and there was no ceiling to his development to be seen. But, just like other generational teammates of his, he was a victim of the stagnation of La Masia and of the fact that the best coaches of the house left.

His 2014/15 season has been one to forget and one upon which it will be good not to dwell on. His prospects for this next season don’t look promising. In the preseason Luis Enrique has shown that his preference is for other types of players in midfield. A player with his qualities and talent cannot waste time in Segunda B, which makes a loan to a top level team a must, as long as Wenger doesn’t come and take him away permanently. Regardless of his future, we will follow with interest and affection the career of a player who is destined to lift the Camp Nou crowd from their seats. Whether it’s “Sámper” or “Sampér”, we don’t care, what is obvious is that he puts the accent on the ball.

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Ángel Iturriaga is a FC Barcelona historian and author of various books about the club's glorious history, you can follow him on Twitter.