Ernesto Valverde has suggested that Jose Arnaiz will have more chances to prove his worth with the Barcelona first-team in the near future after the 22-year-old forward enjoyed an impressive debut during the Catalan's 3-0 victory over Murcia in the first leg of the Copa del Rey last-32 on Tuesday night (24 October).
Arnaiz only moved to the Nou Camp from Valladolid in the summer to play for the second team after proving to be one of the revelations of the Spanish second division during last campaign, scoring 12 goals in 35 appearances.
Real Madrid, Juventus and Napoli were also said to be interested but Barcelona won the race in a €3.4m (£3m) deal which could increase to €8m if certain add-ons are met.
Arnaiz has since made an instant impact in Barcelona's second team, netting four goals and providing three assists in firs his nine games at the club.
The skilful forward continued the good run on Tuesday night after scoring the third goal of the game to help the first-team to secure a 3-0 victory at Murcia in the first leg of the Copa del Rey last-32.
Arnaiz made Valverde's starting trident alongside Paco Alcacer and Gerard Deulofeu only because the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez had been rested.
However, the boss sent a promising message ahead of the future after claiming that his promising debut could only be the "first step" on Arnaiz's way to the first-team.
"He has grown as the game progresses. He was a little more misplaced at the start but in the second half he has participated much more. He has the goal in his head and has a powerful shot. He has scored a great goal. I think he can help us," Valverde said in the press conference following the win over Murcia.
"He is already helping Barcelona B but we are not two teams. We are just one: We are Barcelona and we hope this first step that he has taken can help us in the future."
Valverde also started 19-year-old left-back Marc Cucurella from the second team and young Carles Alena while regular fringe players like Thomas Vermaelen also had a chance to prove themselves.
The Barcelona boss was delighted with their contribution as the 3-0 victory leaves his side on the verge of qualifying for the last 16.
"It was a typical cup game with our opponents sat back and trying to catch us on the counter. We tried to wear them out but in the first half we lacked ideas. Finally, we were able to score and in the second half, with the physical toll, we kept creating and we were able to score two more," the Barcelona boss added.
"We leave happy because we take away a good result. Furthermore, some players from the B side have made their debuts and some players who have not featured much also played."