5 La Masia youngsters ready for FC Barcelona’s first team

6 min read
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FC Barcelona has tasted success on every level. Be it the team to win the treble or the sextuple, Barca has always been a step ahead of every football team. And the main credit for this dominance will be given to there Academy, La Masia. La Masia is regarded as the best football academy in the world and has given talents like Lionel Messi, Carles Puyol, Pique etc. When teams were spending millions to buy stars, Barca was patient as they knew their academy would never disappoint. And it didn’t. But the opposite has started to happen.

Barca is nowadays more focused on buying stars than to make them and promote young players from the academy. Due to this, the success has dried up, and Barca has lost there identity by using this approach. But the future looks a bit better. There are players in the FC Barcelona B currently who have the talent to make it to the first team, and Barca has a chance to again go back to there strategy which brought success in the past.

FC Barcelona and La Masia:

FC Barcelona’s much-acclaimed academy, La Masia has produced world-class talents. Over the last few years, the players coming out of the academy and making it in the first team has been very minimal. But the latest list of talented youngsters looks like they can change the trend and bring Barca to there old tried and tested formula. Here we look at youngsters from the La Masia who are ready for the first team. These are players who FC Barcelona should focus on promoting rather than spending millions to buy stars.

Riqui Puig:
Riqui Puig - La Masia
Riqui Puig playing for FC Barcelona

Under Setien, Barca has struggled. There is no doubt about it. But Setien has been spot on over one thing, believing in Riqui Puig, which Valverde never did. Puig impressed in the pre-season of the current season, and everyone thought this is his breakthrough year. But that didn’t happen until Setien took in charge. The 20-year-old plays as an attacking midfielder and reminds everyone of the great Andres Iniesta. His control of the ball and low centre of gravity helps him to come out with the ball from every challenge.

His performance against Atletico Madrid in which he was the standout player on the pitch, just proved that he is ready for the big stage. In Puig, Barca can place there trust for the future, and he will be the perfect replacement for the likes of Xavi-Iniesta. Puig is a talent which Barca can’t afford to let go. We cant make a mistake with him as we have done in the past with many young players.

Alex Collado:
Alex Collado - FC Barcelona
Alex Collado is waiting for his chance for the first team.

The 21-year-old joined Barca B at the age of 10. He is one of the prospects of the Barca B which have a talent to make it to the first team and make it big. He plays as an attacking midfielder and can also play as a left-winger. His age and judging by the time he has spent in the academy, he knows the Barca way.

His latest injury, Metatarsal Fracture, comes at the worst time for him, but he has the talent, and I hope he will bounce back. He can be the solution of the right-wing problem that Barca has been facing. As seasons have gone, Messi starts at the RW position, but he drifts inside and plays as a playmaker. With that, the RW is covered by the RM and the RB combined. With Alex Collado, Barca will have the best player to handle the right-wing. He can also drift at the attacking midfield if needed. He is the perfect player for Barca and should be permanently promoted to the first team.

Jorge Cuenca:
Jorge Cuenca - FC Barcelona B
Jorge Cuenca is the future in defence for Barca.

Jorge Cuenca is the FC Barcelona B captain and plays at the centre back position. He has been a solid defender for them, and he is the best option for us to promote to the first team. Pique is reaching the end of his career. Lenglet looks like he is solidifying his place in the first team. Cuenca can be our long term replacement for Pique.

To be a defender for Barca, a player has to tick many boxes. And Jorge Cuenca ticks most of them. He has the leadership quality, the composure to play the ball from the back, which is a must for a Barca defender. The only problem that Barca may have to deal with is that Cuenca and Lenglet both are left-footed. But that won’t be a problem in the long run, if their partnership works, Barca will be in a far better position.

Ilaix Moriba:
Ilaix Moriba - FC Barcelona
Ilaix Moriba is the future in midfield.

He is the youngest of all the mentioned players here with an age of 17 years. This simply proves his worth as a player, and how great a player he can be in the future. Another midfielder which shows if Barca gives La Masia a chance the problems that we are currently facing will vanish. Moriba is a box to box midfielder who has every range of passing in his locker.

Moriba has dual citizenship(Giuenian and Spanish), and he has already played for the Spain U-17 team. So, its a matter of time he makes the shift from the B team to the first. He is one of the most effective players on the pitch, and his physical strength, stamina and broad set of skills are what makes him a very dominating player.

Oscar Hernandez, a former La Masia manager who was in charge of La Masia between 2007 and 2017, once said, “Ilaix has something that differentiates him a lot from the other academy players who play in the No.6 position. Traditionally, they have great positional sense and great touch. They are good for circulating the ball, for keeping possession.”

Monchu Rodriguez:
Monchu- La Masia and FC Barcelona
Monchu playing for FC Barcelona B

La Masia is blessed by midfielders right now, and Monchu is on that list. Monchu joined the FC Barcelona youth setup in 2017, and since then he has been a regular for the team. He is currently the vice-captain of the team and is one of the prospects in La Masia right now. The La Masia youngster is known for his creativity in the midfield and is famous for his long-range screamers.

The La Masia youngster has attracted interest from the likes of Inter Milan, but FC Barcelona should do everything to keep him as he is the hottest prospect right now. He was training with Setien’s first team but suffered an injury in early June. He looks ready to make the step up to the first team.

Our Best Bet for the Future:

If FC Barcelona has to win titles and dominate the footballing world again, they have to return to the formula of using La Masia players. La Masia and promoting youngsters is the way to the future for Barcelona and return to its lost glory.

This data analysis shows youngsters are ready for the future. The plan of buying stars under this current board has not worked and will never work for FC Barcelona. FC Barcelona has a style in which they play. For the future, we have two options. We can buy stars and compromise our style or promote youngsters to continue with the Barca DNA. But Barca DNA guarantees success, and the former doesn’t.

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2 thoughts on “5 La Masia youngsters ready for FC Barcelona’s first team

  1. Where is Araujo? He has higher potential than Cuenca. You should now consider Riqui Puig as a first team player along with Ansu Fati.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. I really forgot to include Araujo in the list. I consider Fati as a first-team player that’s why I didn’t include him. I consider Puig as a first-team player but Barca ‘right now’ doesn’t. Just after the break, he has started more matches and will hopefully be a first-team player now. He is in Barca’s opinion right now a 3/4 first-team player according to the latest reports.

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