On 7th March 2021, FC Barcelona held a presidential election after the previous president, Josep Bartomeu resigned. Joan Laporta, a two time President of the club emerged as the winner in the election, thus ushering in a new dawn at the Catalan side. However, this article is about the young generation of FC Barcelona players who will be proving their worth with new coach, Ronald Koeman.
Barca has suffered quite an outflow of players this summer. This is mostly linked to the club’s financial dilemma that means the club must sell in order to balance the books and accommodate the wage bill of Lionel Messi. To this end, La Blaugrana has witnessed the departures of Jean-Clair Todibo, Carles Alena, Konrad de la Fuente, Junior Firpo, Trincao and Matheus Fernandes.
Looking at the array of exits, one thing is very noticeable – these were players who we previously thought will have huge impact last season as well as the incoming one. Also, and the main point, they are all young – very young. This leaves us to wonder the young future of the club since the starlets are let go before they have even had an opportunity to impress [Matheus Fernandes].
But, notwithstanding the transfers [with more likely to follow as Barca’s financial woes compounds], there is a no deficit of talents in the club’s youth ranks.
At the moment, there are just seven players who are over the 30yrs mark – Sergio Busquets, Gerald Pique, Jordi Alba, Antoine Griezmann, Sergi Roberto, Miralem Pjanic and new addition, Kun Aguero. Sorry for the no inclusion of Lionel Messi, he is technically no longer an FC Barcelona employee until his extension is ratified. At this point however, no one knows if Pjanic, S. Roberto and Griezmann will remain with the Catalans after August.
Apart from the above listed ones, the average age of the squad is 23 – 25. Barca has stated that Ansu Fati will be like a new signing this season. Riqui Puig is likely going nowhere and Pedri will be hoping to build on his impressive performances. We hope that he doesn’t get exhausted from lack of rest though seeing as he is likely to feature for the Spanish contingency at the Olympics after his outing in Euro 2020.
At the backline is where the real transformation seems to be happening though. With the likes of Oscar Mingueza [who broke out last season] and Ronald Araujo, a new pair seems to be brewing. Adding to that is the acquisitions of Eric Garcia and Emerson Royal, who are all relatively young. There is Clement Lenglet and Sergino Dest too.
The goalkeeping and midfield department are well covered by youth. The likes of Illaix Moriba and Puig are set to be given more minutes this season alongside Frenkie De Jong and Pedri. It’s safe to say that the future is really young for Barca. Will they bring the trophies? Time will tell.
Joan Laporta and his team are constrained by cash as it stands and Ronald Koeman will be expected to turn the squad into Title contenders going forward, especially with the addition of Memphis Depay and Aguero. How he makes use of them will determine if this season will be his last at the Camp Nou as manager.