No, Getty Images, that's not Gabriel Milito... And that kit is awful...
Hey, I'm back!!! It's been a while since I felt anything more than a waste of space, say a month. Due to some personal issues I'd rather not discuss, I'd been disconnected from the world mentally for the past month. Well now I'm back, and you know it's a real slow summer when I find out I haven't missed much. The other writers here have been keeping you up to date well enough on the senior team, now let's see what has transpired with the B team since I've been gone.
Last month, a deal had been close between FC Barcelona and Hercules CF on Kiko. I was basically giddy to find out that Kiko had been signed for a nominal fee of €2 million plus incentives (nominal compared to what we're prepared to pay for some people). Kiko is very versatile, can play virtually anywhere on the right side, though his future is surely further forward. He'll play for the B team this year in Liga Adelante. His addition should soften the blow of losing Thiago to the senior side.
I predicted at the end of the season last year that Jonathan Soriano would be off, off to cash in on his monster season with the B team. Then I forgot the nincompoops running around at the front office. Thanks to them, the situation is still unresolved. Firstly, we heard Jonathan being used as a makeweight for the Alexis Sanchez transfer. Then we heard from Austria of all places (Red Bull Salzburg, specifically) and there was a deal, apparently. Until there wasn't. Newly-promoted English Premier League side Swansea City took a sniff, and decided the player's wages were not worth it. And now Benfica, who already has swooped in for Nolito, registering interest as well. Until recently though, none of the scenarios have Jonathan being promoted to the senior side. Until recently. Whatever the case may be, this is getting to be almost as annoying as the Cesc FAILbregas saga.
New faces (but not really)
As has been already mentioned, Thiago is going to the full senior side. As will Andreu Fontas. Oriol Romeu has been lost to Chelsea. And Jonathan Soriano will almost certainly be gone, to the senior team or to another country. Those massive losses will have to be replenished and so they promoted players from the very successful Barca Juvenil side. Notable names to be promoted are Gerard Deulofeu and Rafinha, Thiago's little brother. Deulofeu of course has had Barca scouts drooling since he was 14 (maybe even earlier). He's the crown jewel of La Masia, following the footsteps of Messi, Giovanni Dos Santos, Bojan and Thiago. Rafinha meanwhile, is even more hyped than his brother was. Yeah well, if hype and potential was actual, then we'd be the best team ever. Oh wait...
Look out for no-name signings (at forward, specifically)
Nolito's career was basically dead in the water by the time Barca picked him up from Ecija Balompie three years ago. Jonathan Soriano's career had stalled two years ago when Barca gave him a shot. Thanks to Barcelona B, both have revived their playing careers and cashed in, in Nolito's case at least. Look for Barcelona to replace all that firepower lost up front with phenom Deulofeu and an obscure striker. And watch us cash in on him in two years.
Jonathan Dos Santos
We all know about JDS' mishap at the Copa America (well, I choose to call it a mishap). And the kid has apologized for it. I could state my opinion on this, but I'd rather not. Ah what the heck, kudos on being all grown up, Jonathan.
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