In the midst of a blistering start to the season, Barcelona just keep on winning. After dropping points for the first time against Atletico Madrid, Barcelona got back to winning ways in the Champions League picking up a 3-1 win against Olympiakos, before seeing off Malaga 2-0 on Saturday.
As Barcelona move forward this season, Ernesto Valverde has a chance to implement his ideology in the squad and truly foster the young talent in the team. Similar to the implementation and progression of Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, and Gerard Pique under Pep Guardiola, players such as Denis Suarez, Samuel Umtiti, and Nelson Semedo can experience a similar progression.
The point is, Valverde not only has an opportunity to etch his name into club history by winning games, but by improving the players under his watch. In addition to the three mentioned above, there are more young players such as Sergi Roberto, Andre Gomes, and even Paco Alcacer who are searching for opportunities.
Yes, the ultimate goal this year is to win as many trophies as possible. This means starting the eleven players in each game that give Barcelona the best chance of winning. While this is the ultimate goal, a secondary goal must be the improvement of players important to Barcelona’s future.
As we know, growing older is something not even a player of Lionel Messi’s caliber can stop. The success of this year rests on the shoulders of players older and younger, but in order to ensure a strong foundation in the coming years, Valverde must put his trust in players who will be here for several years.
It seems as though Valverde has still not found a consistent starting eleven for big games. The midfield has consistently been shifted around, along with the front three. Rumors regarding Valverde’s decision to start Andre Gomes on the left wing versus Atletico indicate that Suarez and Messi were baffled by the manager’s decision.
While these two players certainly have the right to have their opinions heard and respected, they must accept the fact that the manager might have a better plan. It seems as though Valverde is understanding of the fact that he must build a newer, younger foundation for the future.
Instead of relying only on the players popular under Luis Enrique, he has given far more opportunities to the youngsters, even in big games that are scrutinized much more obsessively.
As mentioned before, winning trophies this year is instrumental to the long-term success of Barcelona. But, Ernesto Valverde has the chance to build a foundation for this Barcelona team that can last throughout the decade.
How Valverde chooses his match day squads is vital to the development of players such as Denis Suarez. Even if Valverde only lasts three to four years, his decisions throughout this season can have an effect on Barcelona for many more years.
With a fantastic start to the year in the books, Valverde can take pride in that. On the other hand though, Valverde’s team is in transition and his decisions on who to play will effect both the players’ futures, and more importantly, the club’s. Visca Barca.