FIFA transfer ban could be a blessing for Barcelona

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As the transfer window slammed shut on Monday night, the powers-that-be at Barcelona knew it would be at least another 17 months before they could jump on that particular merry-go-round again.

Since FIFA confirmed that Barca's transfer ban was indeed being upheld, the Catalans have had to live with the reality that no players will come or go until January 2016, when the market is once again open to them.

Coming as it did at the end of a disappointing season both on and off the pitch, you could be forgiven for thinking that Barca are about to implode.

Perceived mistakes

Supporter ire has been constant and directed toward an under-performing Board of Directors, because of a perceived catalogue of mistakes. For many, the transfer ban represents the tipping point in a rocky relationship.

A first commercial shirt sponsor (with a WHITE logo no less), the somewhat less-than-transparent transfer of Neymar, a wholly unnecessary purchase of Luis Suarez when central defenders were the priority...and now this.

It's just too much for Barca's loyal socio members.

Not a disaster

However, the Blaugrana faithful shouldn't get too downhearted. Whilst the inability to evolve the squad via the capture of available talent is hardly the ideal scenario, it's certainly not the disaster that many are making out.

For this most magnificent of football clubs can, and will, therefore rely on that for which it has become known over the years; La Masia.

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Barca's famed academy continues to churn out players of appropriate quality and this season's vintage looks to be something very special indeed.

There are at least eight members of the current Barca B squad that could justifiably lay claim to a first-team berth before the end of the ban.

Next 'Golden Generation'

Munir El- Haddadi has already begun to take his chance and Sandro also made his mark on debut. They could quite conceivably be joined by Grimaldo, Halilovic, Samper, Kaptoum, Adama and Bagnack at some point. Truly Barca's second "golden generation" after the class of '87 that included Gerard Pique, Cesc Fabregas and Lionel Messi.

So, the future is assured, what about the present?

If you take the glass-half-empty approach then there are all manner of reasons to be unhappy with the capture of Suarez at the top of every list. The moral dilemma Barca fans find themselves in is unprecedented.

Attacking positives

Yet the fact remains that from a footballing perspective he is one of the very best. 31 goals last season tied him with Cristiano Ronaldo as winner of the European Golden Shoe.

His 13 assists, according to, was only one behind former teammate Steven Gerrard and the second best in the Premier League last season. Then there is his work-rate, tenacity and doggedness in possession.

Ivan Rakitic could prove to be the buy of the summer. His quality was self-evident during his time at Sevilla, and he has already shown in the short time he's been with the club that his simple and effective style will be perfectly complimentary to Barca's renowned 'tiki-taka' style.

Defensive stability

And say what you like about Thomas Vermaelen and Jeremy Mathieu but both are competent central defenders, something Barcelona have been crying out for since 2009.

Both will provide exemplary cover in the position, and much-needed competition for Gerard Pique and Marc Bartra in the immediate future.

With David Luiz costing Paris Saint Germain in the region of €50 million, an astronomical fee for a defender, Barca fans should be careful what they wish for.

Faith in Enrique

What of Luis Enrique, a manager steeped in the traditions of the club and one who's already hit the ground running?

Xavi has noted the impact Lucho has made on the club's official website,, and with many of the hallmarks of the Guardiola days returning, things are most certainly looking up for Barca.

Crisis. What crisis?

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