Barcelona unable to take advantage of La Masia production line

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Barcelona's La Masia academy has long been held as the exemplar when it comes to producing homegrown talent.

The list of names that have rolled off of that particular production line is extensive and incredible.

The Catalans haven't had to pay a penny in transfer fees for the likes of Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and Lionel Messi.

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You can add academy stints from Gerard Pique and Cesc Fabregas to that list, albeit money was exchanged when the players were brought "home" after leaving the club of their youth.

There have of course been many others, and it's the frequency that such world class talent is produced that has left most other clubs in awe, and certainly in Barca's slipstream in that regard. 

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Until now.


Where once you could guarantee at least one player would come through the youth and reserve ranks and up to senior level at the club, although the well hasn't dried up, the step up has become increasingly difficult to make for the players at Barca B.

There just isn't the space at first team level for these players to develop. But with the B team about to be relegated to the third tier of Spanish football, some of these players are too good to drop down another level, and Barca surely can't countenance their sale to one of their rivals in La Liga.

Sergi Samper is the most obvious candidate to be next in line for a regular promotion. On his senior debut against APOEL in the Champions League, his 119 touches was the most from any player on the pitch and a 96 percent pass accuracy was also the best. But he has sunk without trace since.

Ditto Munir El-Haddadi and Sandro Ramirez. Both scored on their debuts in the first two matches of this season but have rarely featured thereafter.


That's three players that, potentially, Luis Enrique needs to find room for on his staff.

Then we have Alen Halilovic, albeit brought it from Dinamo Zagreb, and Adama Traore knocking on the first team door and one or two others not far behind.

Add loanees such as Cristian Tello and Gerard Deulofeu into the mix and that is seven players with legitimate first-team claims at Barcelona.

Whether or not the first team go on to even greater successes during the course of the current season, there is little doubt that 2014/15 has, eventually, been one of their best.

48 wins in 57 games so far is the best of any Barcelona side in history, as is their 33 clean sheets. The 115 goals from Messi, Neymar and Suarez is also a club record.

There are three games to go and all three records could theoretically be new La Liga marks by the end of the campaign.

What price success?

But at what price success?

When the Lionel Messi's of this world have upped and left, what have Barcelona got coming through?

There is a real danger that the production line will be turning for no other reason than to service other club's needs and that can't be right.

Luis Enrique, or whomever is in charge for the beginning of the new season, needs to take a long hard look at La Masia and address the situation where possible.

The future of Barcelona depends on it.

What do you think is going wrong at La Masia? Let us know below!

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La Liga
Lionel Messi
UEFA Champions League
Luis Suarez

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