Marcus McGuane set to be Barcelona's first English player since Gary Lineker
Marcus McGuane could become the first English player since Gary Lineker to play for Barcelona's first team on Wednesday after being included in the squad for the Catalan Super Cup final against Espanyol.
McGuane, a January signing from Arsenal, is one of 12 Barca B players called up for the fixture by Ernesto Valverde.
Canadian youth international Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla has also been included in the 20-man squad, along with Carles Alena, David Costas and Abel Ruiz.
Eight first-team players will make the trip to Lleida for the match, although Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho will not feature.
However, Ousmane Dembele, a €105 million summer signing from Borussia Dortmund, and January signing Yerry Mina have been included.
Jasper Cillessen, Lucas Digne, Denis Suarez, Aleix Vidal, Andre Gomes and Paco Alcacer will all be involved, too.
McGuane, 19, arrived for an undisclosed fee in January and has made four appearances for Barca's second team, who are in the second tier.
The England youth international joined Arsenal at the age of six, progressing through the academy at London Colney, and sources at Barca have said that "big-club experience" has helped him quickly acclimatise to life in his new surroundings.
Already installed in a flat with his girlfriend in the city, McGuane trained with the first team for the first time two weeks ago and could get his first real chance to impress Valverde on Wednesday.
"McGuane's adapted well. He's doing well," Barca B coach Gerard Lopez told ESPN FC. "He's a complete player. Perhaps he just lacks that calmness on the ball, that pause in terms or our positional play, but he has everything else we need in the middle of the pitch.
"He's a hard worker, good in the air, arrives in the box from deep. He's already added a lot to the team. I can use him in a lot of positions and at his age, he still has a lot of room for improvement.
"In a short time he has already earned my confidence, and I hope he can become an important player for us."
No English player has represented Barca since Lineker left the club in 1989, although Bobby Robson coached them in the mid-1990s and striker Toni Duggan currently plays for the women's side.
Ballou, meanwhile, has made three appearances off the bench for the B team since joining from MLS side Montreal Impact in January.
The 18-year-old also featured in the UEFA Youth League win against Paris Saint-Germain last month and remains in regular contact with former Impact striker Didier Drogba, who has helped him through his first few months in Spain.
The Catalan Super Cup is an annual fixture played between Espanyol and Barca, with this year's final taking place in the city of Lleida, two hours inland from Barcelona.
Espanyol won the trophy in 2016 and 2017, winning 1-0 on each occasion.
Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.