2019/20 season has officially concluded as Barca’s first trophyless season since 2008. And it couldn’t have ended any worse, as the most significant loss was in the hands of Bayern in Champions League quarter-final match on Saturday. With the manager, Quique Setién & club’s sporting director Eric Abidal sacked, Barcelona’s board still has a lot of decisions to take in the final year of their tenure, and Barca B plays a massive role in it. Here’s a brief analysis of the current Barca B squad.
After the Bayern game, Gerard Pique, in his post-match interview, said that Barcelona had hit ‘rock bottom’ and put himself on the transfer window to bring out fresh young talent for next season. Radical changes were expected to be made on Monday’s board meeting with the Club president, Mr. Bartomeu, who is widely speculated to resign and prepone the club’s presidential elections. But in the end, it was only sacking of coach Quique Setién on Monday and the sacking of Eric Abidal earlier today, which made more of the press’s headlines after the meeting.
News reports suggest that Barcelona later has approached the person who gave Barca’s 1st European Trophy, Ronald Koeman, to take over the reins at the Barca for the next two seasons. Official confirmation is expected in the coming days. However, it won’t be an easy task for the coming Barcelona’s coach to call the shots as he will need to get rid of his aging players.
The club has plans to make massive summer overlay with Big name players like Luis Suarez, left-back Jordi Alba, and central midfielder Ivan Rakitic who are among the three of the highest earners who the club are reportedly hopeful of moving on this summer. The club is keen to hold on to star man Lionel Messi, goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, midfielder Frenkie de Jong and La Masia academy graduates Ansu Fati and Riqui Puig.
For the coming season, Barcelona is going to pretty much rely on its home-grown players from La Masia and new signing, which the club has made during the winter transfer period. Well, let us have a look at the latest signing first.
Youngsters who will arrive at Barcelona in the 2020/21 season:
Position: Attacking Mid-fielder;
The club has bought the then 16-year-old from Las Palmas last summer before loaning him back to the club for a year. The young attacking midfielder who can also play on the wings is an excellent posture and is exceptionally adept at dribbling. A very attacking-minded player, his passing and vision is remarkable for his age. Always ready to take risks and progress the ball forward, the 17-year-old is also capable of quick link-up play, which makes him threatening on and off the ball. Though he is an offensive player, he shows an excellent work rate and tracks back during defense regularly. Along with high-intensity pressing, he is also decent at tackling.
Trincao is one of the exciting young talents from Portugal after Felix. He was signed from Braga in January and will join the club later this summer. Costing the club £28million (€31m), and he is on a deal until 2025 with a £500m buy-out clause. He Lifted the Under-19 Euros with Portugal and tended to play off the right-wing drifting infield to use his left foot. He has been excellent at winning the ball back quickly high up the pitch; he is more of an assist provider than a goal-getter, but the main problem will arise when Messi gets the start on the right-wing where Trincao has far performed best in his career.
Another winter signing from Palmeiras, having made his debut at Botafogo back in 2016. Matheus Fernandes is a defensive specialist with an impressive passing range. He sees plenty of balls sharing some similarities with De Jong, much less refined than the Dutchman. His loan spell at Valladolid and his six starts before that at Palmeiras. He will need a bit of game time before he cements his place as a regular player. Another loan perhaps beckons. Let’s look at the current La Masia players and focus on those who are likely to gain promotion for the coming season.
Current Barça B Squad:
Goalkeepers Age Nationality Contract Expires Market Val. (₹)
13. Carevic 21 Montenegro 30.06.2021 16.66 m
25. Inaki 21 Spain 30.06.2023 191.64 m
2. Dani Morer 22 Spain / Columbia 30.06.2021 25 m
- J.Cuenca 20 Spain 30.06.2021 191.64 m
Mingueza 21 Spain 30.06.2021 16.66 m
Araujo 21 Uruguay 30.06.2023 833.20 m
Sergio Akieme 22 Equatorial Guinea 30.06.2021 25 m
Ramos Mingo 18 Argentina 30.06.2022 37.49 m
– Juan Miranda 20 Spain 30.06.2023 333.28 m
- Riqui Puig 20 Spain 30.06.2023 2.08 bn
Collado 21 Spain 30.06.2021 374.94 m
Monchu 20 Spain 30.06.2021 74.99 m
Sarsanedas 23 Spain 30.06.2021 16.66 m
Jandro Orellana 19 Spain 30.06.2021 25.00 m
Reis 20 Holland/Slovakia 30.06.2022 224.96 m
Labinot 20 Finland 30.06.2021 8.33 m
Matheus 22 Brazil (Just Joined) 108.32 m
Ilaix Moriba 17 Spain / Guinea 30.06.2022 416.60 m
– Braima Fati 22 Spain / Guinea 30.06.2022 8.33 m
– O.Busquets 21 Spain 30.06.2021 191.64 m
- Hiroki Abe 21 Japan 30.06.2023 74.99 m
Ansu Fati 17 Spain / Guinea 30.06.2022 4.17 bn
R. Manaj 23 Albania / Italy 30.06.2023 60.41 m
Barca B players who are likely to be Regulars in the First Team:
Fati will be an official first-team player for the upcoming 2020/21 season. After making his debut with the first team against Valencia, the youngster has shown great potential scoring some very important goals, including a goal against Inter Milan at San Siro, which made him the youngest ever player to score a goal in the champions league. The 17-year-old has spent the entire season with the first team, making 24 appearances and contributing with seven goals and one assist.
Before the start of this season, Puig was one of the most anticipated players in Barca B. He has stood up to those expectations as he was in prime form since the arrival of Setién as he ending the league season with two assists and some blistering performances under his belt. Puig has taken huge strides in the first team this season. The young midfielder could be a first-choice mid-field player alongside Frankie De Jong under Ronald Koeman.
The defender trained with the first team almost every day since the appointment of Quique. He was given his La Liga debut back in October in the clash against Sevilla. Unfortunately, he was sent off after just 14 minutes due to a last-man foul. But ever since the departure of Todibo to Shalke, he had more opportunities in the center-back position featuring as a third choice defender under Setien. Now the return of Todibo and the recovery of Umtiti from his knee injury, has made his job tougher to play for first-team, but if Gerard Pique leaves the Camp Now as many reports suggest, his way back to the first team could be much likely.
Inaki Pena could be given a first-team role as well. The Barca B goalkeeper trained with the senior squad week in and week out and was called up by the first team, but he never made it beyond the bench. Ter Stegen’s ongoing injury and the potential departure of Neto can help him make his first-team debut in the upcoming season.
Collado was said to be rated highly by Quique Setién as he picked Alex over Carles Perez. The 20-year-old played just five minutes for the seniors this term as he was subbed in during the La Liga match against Valencia. The winger is has had an impressive season with Barça B being one of the leading forces in the attack. Collado has recorded five goals and five assists in 24 matches for Barca B this season. Currently, he is being sidelined for 12 weeks as he already missed the playoffs for promotion to the Second Division.
Position: Left Back;
Juan Miranda is backed by an impressive loan spell at German side FC Schalke 04. He has been called by the board to compete for the left-back role, which is currently being occupied by Jordi Alba & Firpo. Miranda is likely to be part of the first-team squad for the coming season as Firpo might be sold off and or could be used as a swap player option in order to make a big-player signing.
Ilaix Moriba is likely to be in the first team in the upcoming season. He has made the most of his chances during the cup games and it is very likely that he will not be sold or loaned out. When he was just 16 years of age, the club made a £90m (€100m) buy-out clause on him due to his impressive performance against Valladolid B in the playoffs recently.
As a La Masia graduate, Akieme has managed to make the most of his chances in recent matches at Barca B. He could be a good competitor for Junior Firpo for the left-back position. He Has impressed many cules with his brilliant speed and crossing abilities during his time at La Masia. Granada might lure him by offering the youngster more game time as they are in Europa League next season. Reports from many local newspapers suggest that the club doesn’t intend to let him go.
Players who are likely to be Sold / Loan out:
The midfielder, who is currently the captain of Barça B side, has been linked to Celta Vigo and Sassuolo as well as other La Liga sides like Valencia, Real Sociedad, and Real Betis. He already made his debut with the first team earlier this month against Napoli in the champions league round of 16 at the Camp Nou. It would be interesting to see how he will thrive under Ronald Koeman if the decides to not to sell or loan him out.
Position: Defensive Mid-fielder;
The youngster has done a decent job while on loan at Twente last season playing in midfield and as a center-back. He will do pre-season with Barcelona this year and then compete with his namesake for a place in the team next season or take another loan this time in Spain. Celta Vigo could be his destination with Barcelona weighing up – as with almost all their young players – if they are worth more to them out on loan, sold with buy-back clauses, or he will for a place in Barca B.
Key at the heart of Barca B’s defense last season, Jorge Cuenca may be sold before he gets the chance to prove himself in the first team. For a former UEFA Youth League winner at the club, it would be a shame if he never got his chance with the first team, The movement among Barca’s other center-backs will be vital in deciding his future.
It’s going to be a huge challenge for Ronald Koeman if he is appointed as the new Barcelona coach to make bold decisions and show the door to big-name players who do not fit in Barça style of play anymore which will also bring a massive cut in players wages and give much-needed opportunities to La Masia’s Barca B players to shine at the next level.
Many of the above-mentioned Barca B players are going to play a huge role in the rebuilding process under this board and the board which will be elected in March Next year. It will be great to see these young bunch of youngsters from La Masia succeed at the club of their dreams.
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