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Pablo Barrios receives new contract to 2028

The young playmaker’s new pact has a higher release clause.

Levante UD v Atletico de Madrid - Copa Del Rey Photo by Aitor Alcalde Colomer/Getty Images

Atlético Madrid on Monday announced teenage midfielder Pablo Barrios has signed a new professional contract with the club that, for all intents and purposes, makes him a first team player.

Barrios has made eight appearances (four starts) across three competitions since debuting against Cádiz on Oct. 29. He had begun the season playing under Fernando Torres at Atlético B, and in recent months he has emerged not just as a viable option in Diego Simeone’s midfield but as a potential pillar for the future. The 19-year-old has scored two goals, both in the Copa del Rey, and has brought badly-needed energy and creativity to a stagnant midfield.

Barrios has completed better than 87 percent of his pass attempts in LaLiga and has registered seven shot-creating actions in only 205 minutes played, according to FBRef’s statistics. He’s averaged more than four progressive passes per 90 minutes, and his 174 ball touches work out to 76 touches per 90.

Born in Madrid’s Mortalaz district, Barrios began his youth career in rival Real Madrid’s setup before joining Atlético in 2017. He signed a contract to 2025 last year after catching the eye with a number of impressive displays domestically and in the UEFA Youth League.

Barrios’s old contract had a €40 million release clause, so it was imperative that Atlético work to raise it in addition to extending the term. And according to Relevo, the club has done just that, inserting a €100 million release clause into Barrios’s new deal. This clause matches the one found in winger Samuel Lino’s contract, with both players now expected to begin the 2023/24 season in Atlético’s first team and play important roles.

Barrios is the first Atlético midfielder to make the leap from B team to first team since Thomas Partey, back in 2016.