UDINE ITALY - JANUARY 23: Alexis Alejandro Sanchez of Udinese Calcio during the Serie A match between Udinese and Inter at Stadio Friuli on January 23 2011 in Udine Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Duh, I’m back…kind of. I still feel like I went toe to toe with "Iron" Mike Tyson in his prime. Due to reasons I’m not willing to explain in-depth I was absent for a while. Thankfully, Sabrina covered for me in impeccable fashion. Usually this column is aiming to sum up all that has happened in and around our favorite football club, FC Barcelona. This week though I’ll start by addressing Barca Blaugranes first. Aside from me resurfacing on the scene, the ever increasing Barca Blaugranes staff has added two more writers to the team, Andrés Ehrli and Michael Doran. Furthermore, Arron Duckling has been entrusted with Editor Duties.
On another note, the ultra-elusive and equally as talented Jose A. has a Twitter account. I’m not putting you on blast Jose, far from it, it’s just you’re very hard to get a hold of. I can tell; recruiting you was quite the task. Fortunately I’m quite the relentless Editor. That leaves me with another mission impossible, convincing another wildly talented Blaugranes writer to create one, Paul Udani. The likelihood of persuading Paul to join the world of micro-blogging….well, I think I stand a greater chance of winning the national lottery. Nonetheless, Paul I’m pleading with you…join the damn thing.
If you have wondered why our recent output has been rather light – there’s not much to report in the first place. According the latest reports (if they have any validity remains to be seen) Udinese Boy Wonder, Alexis Sanchez, is set to join FC Barcelona. By this time next week the Chilean international could be a Barca player. Somewhere on Twitter I read the following "30 million for Guiseppe Rossi is considered too much but paying 28 million plus add-ons for Alexis Sanchez just sounds like us" – case in Point.
As always, FC Barcelona make it a point in being absolutely free of logic. I’m not suggesting that Alexis Sanchez isn’t a quality player or an immense talent but he is an unknown quantity in La Liga or the Champions League for that matter. With debts leaking all over the place wouldn’t it be wiser to be more resourceful with the limited budget available for reinforcements? The last time I checked the massive defensive liability that goes by the name of Gabriel Milito is still on the books of FC Barcelona. Carles Puyol isn’t getting any younger and Andreu Fontas is too afraid to commit to 50/50 challenges, why not splash the cash on a proven center-back?
Besides, FC Barcelona is apparently just inches away from signing Hercules winger, Francisco "Kiko" Femenia. Honestly, another winger? Judging by his age, young Kiko is 20 years old, it’ll probably means the end of Jeffren’s spell with FC Barcelona. The acquisition of multi-million Alexis Sanchez will further limit his playing time while it will cast a huge doubt over Bojan’s future as well. Sanchez would allow any of the regular forwards, Messi, Villa or Pedro to sit out the odd game.
Bojan, however, is just unfortunate in many ways. He is neither exactly an out-and-out center forward nor a second striker, he is for all intends and purposes, Bojan. Furthermore, even though he is just 20, his development is already considered to be stalling. A member of the first team for four years, he was never considered a regular, let alone starter. While Santos’ Neymar is just a year younger than Bojan, the Brazilian is wildly considered the brightest prospect in his age group. Four years ago nobody knew about Neymar, this year he is linked to every big club in Europe.
A few years back FC Barcelona made the ill-fated decision to buy a Santos youth product, Kerrison. Some 14 million Euro and a plethora of loans-deals later, the player dub K-9 (no, not the Police force's dog division) is barely worth 2 million Euro and fell off the face of the earth.
The difference between Bojan and Neymar, the latter is guaranteed first team football whereas Bojan chose to endure four seasons as a bit time player. Unlike Thiago, he hasn’t played regular football in years, even if it's with the B team. In addition, young Bojan is a striker (at least nominally) and as such he gains confidence from scoring goals not warming the bench. As unbelievable as it sounds, he even warms the bench for Spain’s U21 national team. For their own sake, Bojan and Jeffren need to go. Pedro and Messi are undisputed starters AND to make things worse, they are still young, barely older than their unlucky teammates.
Xavi is 31 and Andres Iniesta 27, somewhere down the line the opportunities will present itself to Thiago, 20. To put things in perspective, AC Milan’s Alexandre Pato, 21, is setting Calcio on fire and FC Barcelona wanted him included in last year's Zlatan Ibrahimovic operation. Jeffren and Bojan already won two Champions League titles, now how about some regular football? Which brings us to Giuseppe Rossi, even the hint of interest in acquiring his services should’ve indicated that Bojan’s time is up. But in my opinion the Italy international was just used as a decoy to lower the asking price for Alexis Sanchez. Then again, 30 million for a proven La Liga striker should’ve set the benchmark for FC Barcelona’s Sanchez operation.
I slowly but surely come to the conclusion that FC Barcelona’s board of directors are fiscally irresponsible. Anyways, as long as FC Barcelona doesn’t join the race for Neymar I’m willing to turn a blind eye, not that my eyesight is perfect, I’m wearing glasses.
Who needs Neymar if La Masia is considered the finest football academy in the world? At least one English youngster can (probably) attest to that, Kebbie Elliott. If he joins he’ll give deserting La Masia youngsters something to think about. Forgoing money in search for a proper football education – Karma is a b*tch. Where’s Fran Merida now…I can’t tell. Probably somewhere doing something but it sure isn’t playing first team football.
Visca el Barça y Visca…I can’t say that because I don’t live in Catalunya but I’m sympathetic to the cause.
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