It has happened before and it will happen again. Sport broke that FC Barcelona have lost three talented youngsters to the Premier League, following in the footsteps of Cesc Fàbregas and more recently Jon Toral and Hector Bellerin. More details after the jump.
The first and reportedly most significant departure is that of local Catalan Sergi Canós (16). His prodigious pace and natural talent made him the top goal-scorer in the Cadete A team and a member of the Spain youth. Liverpool is his destination and that’s not surprising seeing as former La Masia coach Rodolfo Borrell is now top-dog at the Merseyside youth academy. Liverpool, just like Manchester City, are not shy to seek the talent and knowledge of Barça coaches and both clubs are completely restructuring the youth setups and mirroring them on La Masia.
Next is Julio Pleguezuelo a defender born in Mallorca. Also a Spanish youth international this 16 year old is off to join his compatriots at Arsenal.
Number three is Ecuadorian striker Josima Quintero (16) who had been part of the academy set up since eight years old. He was heavily recruited and turned down both Arsenal and Tottenham to sign for Chelsea.
Note they are all 16 right. Well that’s because the rules on youth contracts have still not changed in Spain and clubs can only offer professional deals, and with that professional level money, once the player has turned 18. In England the age is 16 and until something is done about this arbitrage Barça are going to suffer such poaching in perpetuity.
Apparently despite the top goalscoring form of Canós, none of the three have played particularly well over recent months and both Pleguezuelo and Quintero have featured little. Still, one never knows how they will turn out and the one thing that is for certain is that if they blossom it will cost Barça a pretty penny to ever get them back.
Source: Sport, Image Credit: fcbarcelona.cat