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Former Arsenal prodigy McGuane opens up on fall from grace at Barcelona

5:02 PM EDT 9/11/19
Marcus McGuane, Arsenal, England
The youngster broke into the senior team in March 2018, but has now completed a loan move to the Dutch second division

Marcus McGuane has said that a coaching change and a new position caused him to lose traction at Barcelona following his senior debut in March 2018.

McGuane, 20, moved to Barcelona from Arsenal in January 2018 and surprisingly found himself in the first-team picture quickly at Camp Nou. 

Barca manager Ernesto Valverde invited the young Englishman to train with the senior squad and McGuane made his full debut in the Catalan Super Cup against Espanyol in March 2018. 

But McGuane's progress would be stunted quickly when Barcelona B manager Gerard Lopez was sacked and replaced by Francesc Xavier Garcia Pimienta.

“Everything was going smoothly,” McGuane told i. “I still hadn’t gone anywhere near my peak but I felt good. I was playing in my natural position and I felt I was getting better.

"Then Lopez got sacked and [Garcia Pimienta] replaced him."

McGuane had developed a relationship with Lopez but under the new boss, things were much different. 

“I felt the impact straight away. It happened on a Thursday before a game," the midfielder recalled. "We were travelling on the Saturday and I wasn’t even in the squad. It was a bit of a shock.

"After that it was tough. I never had the same feeling that I had during those first few months.”

McGuane would then suffer an injury and when he returned, Garcia Pimienta insisted on playing him out wide rather than in his preferred central midfield position.

“Maybe as a kid I played there, when I was nine or 10, but I am not a right winger," McGuane said. 

McGuane's frustration led him to seek out an unexpected location for a season-long loan: Dutch second-division side Telstar, managed by McGuane's former Arsenal youth coach Andries Jonker.

Under Jonker, McGuane is hoping to turn his career around. 

“The most important thing for me now is feeling comfortable,” McGuane said. “Being happy where I am, in a good environment with family and friends and the people that I love around me.

"Choosing a club this summer has felt like such a big decision. I’m still young, but it feels like a big point in my career."