There’s plenty of things to keep Cules busy just now.
The inauguration of the Johan Cruyff Stadium heralds a new era for some of the youth teams and Barca Women.
A constantly evolving transfer situation with Neymar has kept everyone glued to their smart phones and computers.
Barcelona are making progress in their attempts to re-sign Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain, Sky Sports News understand— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) August 27, 2019
And a wonderful home debut from Antoine Griezmann has kept the chattering classes in Catalonia and elsewhere busy.
Just as important as all three of those things is the emergence of Carles Perez and Ansu Fati. Some would say more so.
But we’ve been here before haven’t we? La Masia talents breaking through, only to be farmed off elsewhere.
Ansu Fati:— B/R Football (@brfootball) August 27, 2019
◾ Youngest player to play for Barca since 1941
◾ Trained with the senior team for the first time three days before debut
◾ Needed permission from his parents to play in late-night La Liga match
◾ Rejected Real Madrid in 2012
Living the @FCBarcelona dream ✨ pic.twitter.com/14EGh5cYlB
Depending on who your preferred source of info is, then Fati is ‘Barca’s new wonderkid.’ But wasn’t Jean Marie Dongou bestowed with just that honour at the same age?
Well-respected journalists even said at the time that Dongou was better than Messi at the same age.
Clearly, some players develop quicker than others, but an awful lot seem to fall by the wayside because they’re not given the requisite minutes at senior level in which to hone their craft.
No one could fail to be impressed by Fati’s cameo against Real Betis, nor Carles Perez’s contributions both in pre-season and against the Verdiblancos.
When you score your first goal at the Camp Nou— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 25, 2019
❤ Carles Pérez pic.twitter.com/T0HXJbo7MH
Both players personify the exuberance of youth and there’s an associated fearlessness in their play.
Not only that, but as further La Masia representatives in the first team, they have become a new pair of standard bearers for those players of similar age.
Sooner or later the club need to get back to having a decent core of their youth players making up a large portion of the senior squad, but that can only be achieved with the foresight to give these young bucks their wings.
Let them flourish!
Oriol Busquets joins Twente on loan https://t.co/FQz2bswDYM— SPORT English (@Sport_EN) August 27, 2019
For every Perez and Fati, there’s an Oriol Busquets, Marc Cucurella, Gerard Deulofeu, Munir El Haddadi...
It’s an extensive list of ex-Barca youth players who now ply their trade elsewhere, but as some of the more senior players come towards the end of their careers the club would do well to begin to integrate from within in those key positions.
Such talent can’t be allowed to go to waste, it would be a travesty at this point.
It’ll be interesting to revisit this article in a few months time to see how both players have progressed and whether they have been afforded the minutes that they deserve.