Football

"Don't touch La Masia".

Has Barcelona's La Masia clearout already come back to haunt them?

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The wording in the picture above roughly translates to "La Masia is not to be touched."

It was paid for by Barcelona in response to their transfer ban and unfurled in a home match for the entire football-watching public to see. The inference was clear. Hands off of our players, they're not going anywhere.

Fast forward a year or so and those words have been made to look a little hollow. Another false promise from the Blaugrana half of Catalonia. 

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No less than eight players from La Masia have been released, including Barca B captain Alejandro Grimaldo. The youngest ever to play for Barca B, Grimaldo has long been earmarked for great things but because of decisions made elsewhere in the club he and his colleagues have been left with no option but to leave the club.

Foolish

It's a decision that's already looking a little foolish.

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Jordi Alba tweaked a hamstring against Athletic Bilbao and his usual replacement Jeremy Mathieu has been injured for a short while and is also unavailable.

That leaves the ageing, unfit and out-of-form Adriano as the only recognised left-back.

Grimaldo would've slotted perfectly into the breach but that option is no longer open to them, leaving Sergi Roberto to play out of position again in a make-do-and-mend scenario.

Benfica are the grateful recipients of Grimaldo's services and it's clear from social media that, despite the shock of leaving the club of his life, the youngster is settling in well to his new surroundings.

Wasted talent

Other high-profile players are also on their respective bikes. Pol Calvet has signed for Deportivo and goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa has registered with Gimnastic.

Aitor Cantalapiedra, another for whom great things were expected and who only made his first-team debut earlier in the season, has yet to find a club along with four of his team mates.

When you consider that they are just the latest graduates to go, Barca are churning out talent not for themselves, but for Europe's other top flight clubs.

Gerard Deulofeu is at Everton, Adama Traore at Aston Villa, Cristian Tello at Porto, Martin Montoya at Inter Milan, Bojan Krkic and Marc Muniesa at Stoke City....

The list is practically endless. 

Stoke City v Manchester City - Premier League

Disarray

Barca B too are now floundering in the third tier of Spanish football. A team that finished third in the Segunda (second) division not so long ago meaning they would have been promoted if the first team weren't already in La Liga, are now fifth from bottom in the Segunda B division and just one point above relegation to the Tercera, or regional, league.

They and other teams at La Masia are in disarray.

And what has the club done to ease the situation? Signed 77 new players across the various age groups rather than bringing in better quality management and technical staff.

Yet another recipe for disaster and one which will, again, cost them in the longer term.

FBL-ESP-LIGA-BARCELONA-BETIS

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Topics:
Neymar
La Liga
Football
Lionel Messi
Luis Suarez
Barcelona

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