It’s been contended for a while now that Barcelona’s transfer policy has become a little ‘scattergun,’ with the right sort of players often not being signed by the club.
A preference for bigger names over what’s truly required.
Antoine Griezmann is a case in point, with the Barca dressing room allegedly split on his arrival.
A move for the Frenchman’s current Atletico Madrid team-mate, Filipe Luis, is another head scratcher.There appears to be interest from the Blaugrana in the left-back, with the Rojiblancos seemingly set to continue to shed most of their first-team players.
The official line is that he will provide ‘genuine competition’ for first-choice, Jordi Alba, but at 33 years of age, 34 by the start of next season, that’s hard to believe.
Alba himself is no spring chicken at 30, but does retain a superior level of fitness. To that end, it’s difficult to see a player three years his senior getting a look in unless he succumbs to injury.
Barcelona, were, once upon a time, renowned for their youth policy. They are still producing a decent level of footballing talent, but the problem for them is integration into the first team picture.
Take Marc Cucurella for example.
The 20-year-old is another La Masia graduate who has just spent a season on loan at Eibar. It’s fair to say that he more than impressed the Basque side, who took up the option to sign him at the end of the campaign – for a paltry €2m.
Barcelona will use their re-purchase option to take him back for €4m, but, rather than keep the exciting and dynamic left-back in situ, they will sell him on again for a profit.
That’s a difficult one to understand, given that Cucurella offers just what the club need with regards to Alba’s back up.
For starters, he is a product of the club so has been schooled in the style of play from a young age. As a result, a settling in period isn’t required.
He’s trained with the current first-team on numerous occasions and knows them well, so from a dressing room perspective, there’s no issue there either.
Ten years younger than Alba and with the hunger and desire to prove himself tells its own story.
Whilst Filipe Luis is an able defender and consummate professional, if Barcelona are interested in the future of the club rather than just the present, then, frankly, he’s not a player they need.
It also sends out entirely the wrong message for the other youngsters coming through at the academy.