Report: Maxwell started the season 3rd on the depth chart at the left-back position behind Eric Abidal and Adriano Correia. His playing time plummeted compared to the season before and even when he was on the pitch he failed to impress. Maxwell's defense was shaky at best and his attacking capabilities were limited, resulting in Barcelona being forced, at times, to abandon attacking on that side.
He only made 11 appearances, 6 starts, before he was moved in January, and in that time in became clear that Maxwell can no longer be counted on as a serviceable backup player. Despite the lack of playing time, only 693 minutes, Maxwell managed to help Barcelona's cause with a goal, against Al Sadd, and an assist, against BATE Borisov.
Maxwell goal | Al Sadd 0-4 FC Barcelona | CWC 15/12/2011 (via chelseabarcafantomas)
2012/13 Outlook: Maxwell is no longer in Barcelona's plans, in fact he stopped being in the clubs plans in January, when he was sold to Paris Saint-Germain for €4 million. Good luck in France Maxwell.
Report: Martín Montoya is one of the brightest defensive prospects that have come through La Masia in recent memory and if his development continues at this rate he could be a legitimate heir to Dani Alves. He possess good speed, the passing is accurate and his vision is terrific. Add to that sound positioning and good tackling, and you have a recipe for success.
With the well documented injuries to defenders Montoya spent most of the season training with the first. He still played the majority of games in the Segunda División but he was given 10 chances to impress on the big stage, 6 of them starts, and in that time Montoya barely put a step wrong. Montoya's defending was solid and he was a constant threat on the offensive.
He even managed to bag himself his first career senior goal, in the UEFA Champions League no less, against BATE Borisov.
*You can see Montoya's goal at the 1:05 mark
Fc Barcelona vs Bate Borisov 4-0 All Goals & Highlights (via xDinho10)
Montoya was rewarded for his stellar play with a start in the Copa del Rey Final against Athletic Bilbao, where he once again did everything you want from your full-back; he helped on the attack and remained pretty much impenetrable on defense.
2012/13 Outlook: Montoya will start next season with the first team as he waved goodbye to Barcelona B. Montoya's appearances will be limited because of some guy named Alves but if the young Spaniard continues to play the way he has in the past he will force Tito Vilanova's hand to give him more playing time.
Report: Andreu Fontàs had a miserable first campaign with the first team. He appeared in only five games, though all of them were starts, as he served mainly as the second or even third backup at center-back. He would've made a handful appearances more had his season not been cut short in January by a torn ACL in the right knee that forced him to the sidelines for the remained of the season.
In the five appearances he made Fontàs showed what we already knew from the previous season - he lacks pace and experience. The problem is that with him being, well there's not other way to say this, slow he can't be counted on for more playing time, playing time that would give him more experience.
2012/13 Outlook: It will be very difficult for Fontàs to start next season on FC Barcelona's 25 man roster. With the emergence of youngsters like Marc Bartra and Marc Muniesa, and the prospect of a new center back coming in on a transfer there is just no place for Fontàs. He will most likely leave on a loan with Real Betis being the most rumoured destination.
Report: Marc Bartra has been impressing the Segunda División for several seasons now with his responsible defensive work. While he was given more opportunities by Pep Guardiola in the first team last season Bartra impressed in his only two appearances with the "big boys". He was especially impressive in the Champions League game against BATE Borisov when he, with the help of mainly B team players, held the talented Belarus side scoreless.
Marc Bartra skill vs Bate Borisov (via Dervyxable)
2012/13 Outlook: Bartra is a talented youngster who should be able to keep a place on the first team roster. His versatility should also help him there as he can, if needed, fill in at both full back positions. The fact that the club rates him higher than fellow youngster Marc Muniesa also helps his cause. If Bartra is still with the team when the season begins expect him to be a backup at his natural position, center-back, who will see little playing time and will be limited to "garbage" minutes and spot starts against "easy" opponents in (mainly) the Copa del Rey.
Report: Muniesa made three substitute appearances for Barcelona this season playing at center-back and at left-back. Clearly that is not enough to rate his impact on the first team but it is enough to see glimpses of what Muniesa can, if given the chance, bring to the table. By definition he's a central defender with good anticipation and positioning. Muniesa can also play at left back, something he showed in the league game against Getafe.
2012/13 Outlook: Muniesa has been heavily rumoured with a move away from Barcelona in the summer, may it be on loan or a transfer with a buy-back option. If either if these actions happen depends mainly on if Barcelona find a suitor for Fontàs and buy a new central defender. If Muniesa ends up staying expect him to have a similar fate as Bartra.
Next Up: Xavi