If you have not already heard, yesterday, FIFA rejected F.C. Barcelona’s transfer ban appeal. Barcelona will not be involved in the next two transfer markets, but they are allowed to transfer for the duration of this transfer window. After the announcement, every player on the market is now expected to go to Barcelona. Then again, that has been the case all summer long.
I do not see why this is a time to panic. For the last decade, the club has sustained pride in building a team based of their La Masia products. Yet, the Catalan club are going to try to appeal the decision– again! Does the club not trust their youth?
In my opinion, this transfer ban comes at a perfect time. First of all, the club recognized the possibilities of the ban. The administration have spent a good deal of money this summer. Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Claudio Bravo, Jeremy Mathieu, Luis Suarez, Thomas Vermaelen, and Ivan Rakitic are now playing for the club (well “playing” is a strong word for a couple of players, cough cough). And more players are still rumored to join before the market ends.
Second of all, Barcelona will be forced to do what they did under Pep Guardiola– trust La Masia. Although the Catalan club have brought in a few players, anything can happen for a season in a half. Players can get injured or lose form; the club can regret recent transfers. That’s where the plan b (or Barcelona B) comes in.
Exciting prospects are in the horizon. Jean Marie Dongou, Frank Bagnack, Munir El Haddadi, Sergi Samper, Edgar Ie, and Alen Halilovic; defenders, midfielders and forwards that, with experience, provide continuous stability. The Spanish giants can remain giants.
My main joy with the transfer ban is this: we will not live through another Thiago Alcantara episode– at least not for the next two windows. One of the biggest mistakes the club has committed is selling Thiago (and I know I am not the only one who thinks so). A young talent meant to lead the Barcelona midfield for years to come. We all know what happened with that plan.
I expect the club to slightly struggle. Yes, they bought players. But Mathieu is 31. Vermaelen proves to be injury prone– he arrived in crutches to the Catalan club. I cannot see them lasting all the way to 2016 in perfect form. So, plenty of room for youngsters to be involved in the following tournaments. Luis Enrique managed Barcelona B and knows these players. Now, he should trust some of those players to carry on for the future. This ban might be an unexpected investment to the youth system.