Barcelona's La Masia Academy is officially now in crisis

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Barcelona's La Masia academy is in crisis.

The harsh reality of the Catalans' current plight is that they are not producing young footballers of a good enough standard to walk tall in the first team.

Woe betide any youngsters in the Juvenil A (U19) or Barca B teams that play in a forward, attacking role at present because there's a few years left yet of the Messi-Neymar-Suarez trident and unless any one of the three suffers a catastrophic season-ending injury, no one is going to get a look in up front.


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It's the reason Adama Traore and Gerard Deulofeu have been sold this summer. It's the reason why Munir El-Haddadi and Sandro Ramirez will only feature fleetingly again in this campaign.

It's also the reason most of the club's 150,000 membership are up in arms. Barcelona's foundations were built on a successful La Masia and at present it is anything but.

Conveyor belt for others

There are plenty of graduates coming through but the conveyor belt is supplying Europe's other clubs and not the team for which the players were developed. Perhaps it is the need for immediate and continued success that is driving the business model of the club in terms of its transfer policy at the moment.

Neymar and Suarez weren't warmly received in all quarters but the machinations behind their purchases were soon forgotten once the team clicked into gear and won its second treble.

Arguably the club also didn't necessarily need either Arda Turan or Aleix Vidal, but both will strengthen the squad and so the powers-that-be can deflect any criticism as long as Barca are successful again at the end of the upcoming campaign.

Along with Sergio Busquets, Pedro Rodriguez was the last player to forge an impression at first-team level. His value to the team is and has always been self evident. From the goals he scored in every competition as Barca completed the sextuple in 2009, to the work ethic and industry he shows every single time he pulls on the jersey.

If the management team cannot find a place on a regular basis for such excellence then something is clearly amiss, and it's entirely understandable why the player might wish to seek his fortune elsewhere.

No time to develop

Since Pedro, there have been at least 16 players that have had a taste of first-team football but have eventually been sold. Bojan Krkic remains the most successful of that particular group, which includes Cristian Tello, Marc Muniesa and Martin Montoya to name just a few.

None of the current crop of graduates have covered themselves in glory recently either. Sergi Roberto and Marc Bartra were awful quite frankly against Athletic Club de Bilbao in the first leg of their Spanish Super Cup final.

Yet when you're schooled in an environment that doesn't allow you the time to develop, is it any wonder that your skill set isn't up to the required standard?


Barca's example of how to bring players through the ranks and groom them for stardom is failing badly.

And if, as one of the best funded teams in the world, you can't produce one world class player in seven years, when the seven to eight years previously produced Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique, Cesc Fabregas and Lionel Messi, then clearly the coaching set up and more needs a massive overhaul.

The father of La Masia, Johan Cruyff, must be beside himself to see how the policies, ethics and training regime that he put in place are being eroded to such an extent.

His baby isn't dead yet, but the last rites will be read soon if the trend isn't quickly reversed.

Barca fans, do you think that La Masia is going down the drain? Let us know in the comments box below.

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