FC Barcelona, 4 - Cultural Leonesa, 1

Barça's bad signings have blocked the route out of La Masia

OPINION

@ErnestFolch

Riqui Puig's Barcelona first team debut, even though it was only in the early rounds of the Copa del Rey against third division opposition, has had a notable impact. Without doubt, Riqui has something special, a differential talent which makes him different to the others when he moves around the pitch and creates play, like with his pass for Denis Suarez against Cultural Leonesa on Wednesday. 

However, the excitement which the La Masia starlet's debut has provoked must be put into a context which sees the Barça fans, every day with more force, calling for the role of the academy players to be bigger and not to be limited to just Copa del Rey games. There's thirst for the cantera. 

For that reason, so much excitement has been generated by Carles Aleña getting a first team number. For that reason, there are more and more voices asking for bravery to be taken with Chumi, Miranda and Oriol Busquets, who also played on Wednesday. There's always the other side, the side that asks for patience and for the appearances of the kids to be managed to avoid doing them damage. 

But what the club urgently needs is for new talent from the academy to win their place in the first team, not just for sporting reasons, but economic reasons. There's been too much indulgence in recent years in some quarters with new signings (patience was asked for, for example, with the overvalued Andre Gomes) and as a result the cantera's been dealt with harshly. 

Maybe things should be turned around: the maximum demanded from those that are signed, maximum tolerance with those from the academy. Because it's time to be honest: the signings that aren't superstars (and therefore welcome and regulars) block the progress of the kids in La Masia. There's not room for everyone. 

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