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Is Moussa Wague destined to become another forgotten man for Barcelona?

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Youngster’s opportunities likely to be limited

RC Celta de Vigo v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images

If everyone is completely honest, we all saw that result coming against Celta Vigo.

Even if we take into account that there were a smattering of first-team regulars playing, the focus has well and truly shifted to the Champions League.

Why else would you replace all 11 starters from the first leg against Liverpool?!

In many respects, it was a perfect scenario for Ernesto Valverde as it allowed him to give his underused squad players a run out against a team still battling for La Liga survival.

Some rose to the challenge and others clearly didn’t, whilst Ousmane Dembele’s injury was regrettable and unfortunate.

One player who’ll have given the coach some food for thought was Moussa Wague.

The Senegalese youngster is still raw and has much to do to convince the technical team at the club, but he showed flashes of the brilliance he is capable of throughout the match against the Galicians.

Not frightened to get forward and support the attack, he faced down his opposite number at every opportunity and put in a number of decent crosses. A shot on goal in the first half might’ve brought greater reward with a little more composure.

Defensively, though he was unlucky to concede the penalty that sealed the win for Celta, Wague was calm and composed, keeping things simple for the most part.

If there was one criticism that could be levelled at him, it’s perhaps that he lacks a little finesse to some elements of his play, but so conditioned have we become to expecting our players to be world beaters, it’s conveniently forgotten that Wague is still just 20 years of age and learning his craft at this point.

Having started his footballing journey at Qatar’s Aspire Academy, Wague then joined Belgium side, Eupen.

With the greatest of respect to both, neither can be compared to FC Barcelona, so perhaps we are being a tad unfair when expecting B team players to step in and produce elite level performances alongside world class exponents from the get go.

Taking everything into account, the issue for club and player is whether he’s destined to become another ‘also ran.’

Identified by Valverde as one of five players that had the potential to challenge for a first team place, the reality is that Wague isn’t going to get anywhere near the first team whilst Sergi Roberto and Nelson Semedo are in situ.

It’s not unique, but we have a situation where he’s good enough to challenge the pair on a regular basis but will stagnate in the B team if he’s left there for too long. Therefore, he’s walking a very fine line at the moment.

A loan option isn’t out of the question and if he wants regular match action at the top level, it’s his only realistic option right now.

In so doing, however, he potentially becomes yet another addition to what is rapidly becoming a revolving door policy for our B team youngsters, and that was never in the La Masia script written by Cruyff.