talkSPORT shines our transfer spotlight on Barcelona's Cristian Tello, who Liverpool are hoping to prise away from the Nou Camp.
Name: Cristian Tello Herrera
Date of birth: 11/08/91
Birthplace: Sabadell, Spain
International honours: One Spain under-23 cap, five under-21 caps and one goal.
WHAT'S THE LATEST NEWS?
The electric Spaniard announced himself to the wider world with two superbly taken goals after coming on as a substitute in Barcelona's Champions League thrashing of Bayern Leverkusen in March 2012. While a certain Lionel Messi stole the headlines with a remarkable five goals in the same match, Tello's European debut did not go unnoticed. Liverpool were mentioned as the winger's strongest suitors prior to his two goal salvo, but with the 20-year-old out of contract this summer, they may now face competition from Arsenal to acquire his signature.
DID YOU KNOW?
1) Despite only making eight appearances (the majority as a substitute) for Barca in 2011/12, his debut season, Tello already boasts an impressive five goals.
2) Tello is just the latest product of Barcelona's La Masia academy. However, it has not all been plain sailing for the diminutive forward, who swapped Barca for fierce neighbours Espanyol in 2008. Despite being promised first team action, Tello decided to rejoin his boyhood club in 2010.
3) Tello was on the score sheet in Barcelona's last match, a 5-3 La Liga win against Granada.
4) Barca's super sub made an instant impact on his debut for the Spanish under-21s. Trailing Egypt 1-0, the youngster was thrown into the fray at half-time. His stunning play on the wing helped set up La Roja's equaliser and Tello was lauded for his role in Spain's 3–1 comeback.
5) The new Barca star has a habit of scoring on his debuts and quickly, too. After being handed his first La Liga start against Real Sociedad, he opened the scoring just eight minutes into the match as the Blagurana recorded a 2 – 1 win.
“This is a surprise for me. I hope the boss keeps his confidence in me. He told me I should ask for the ball as long as I had a goal scoring opportunity. He tells me to be myself.” Tello after scoring twice on his Champions League debut, March 2012
“Tello is a pure winger. He is like a bullet. He has a big future.” Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola
"There have been calls from England, Portugal, from everywhere, but still nothing is clear." Tello's agent Jose Maria Orobtig, March 2012
Tello's goal against Granada
Tello's La Liga debut and goal against Real Sociedad
Words: Dom Bryant