Though such luminaries as Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets all came out of the Barcelona football academy during what can rightly be regarded as a “Golden Age”, age is the one thing that’s starting to catch up with them. All are now on the wrong side of 30, and in truth, the team really needs an injection of newer and younger blood.
This has been an interesting season for the Catalans. After having lost the La Liga title to arch rivals, Real Madrid, they’ll need to pull their collective fingers out unless they want to experience that rarity of a trophy-less season. Though there’s been talk of bring in re-enforcement’s in the form of Lautaro Martinez and Neymar at Inter Milan and PSG respectively, the truth is that the club is short of cash and unlikely to land either.
But looking through the B Team, and there are any number of hopefuls. We believe that the new starts will include Ansu Fati, Ronald Araujo and Riqui Puig – who are close to being full-time starters. Then we have 17-year-old Pedri and 20-year-old Francisco Trincão.
Thankfully, though, 17-year-old Pedri and 20-year-old Francisco Trincão have already been purchased, and the emergence of stars such as Ansu Fati, Ronald Araujo and Riqui Puig – who are close to being full-time starters – already gives Barça a much younger face. Also there’s Monchu and Alex Collado, who have sometimes made the list in the seniors for some match days.
Carles Aleña, aged 22, will return to Barcelona after a stint on loan to Real Betis. We think there’s a very good chance of him playing with the big boys very soon.
As you can see from Sport, their journalist Javier Giraldo points out that the average age for these rising stars is just 19.7 years. Seeing as the Blaugrana has put
In any event, as SPORT’s Javier Giraldo informs us via a front page spread on Saturday, the average age of these seven listed stars is 19.7 years. Elsewhere joined by 23-year-olds Frenkie de Jong and Ousmane Dembele, plus 25-year-old Clement Lenglet, Barça already look to be building for the future in a vital transition phase early this decade.
According to Marca, up to 12 Barcelona players have just been put up for sale. The list: Neto, Nelson Semedo, Samuel Umtiti, Junior Firpo, Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal, Ousmane Dembele, Martin Braithwaite, Carles Aleñá, Rafinha, Jean-Clair Todibo, and Philippe Coutinho.
This’ll be a good start. Let’s hope chances are given to academy youngsters so that they can grow and mature to gradually replace the old guard.