History has shown that Barça’s success has been a result of having a team consisting of superstars with La Masia players on the pitch. Although the club seemed to drift from that policy and solely focus on signing players, the club seems to be steering itself on the right path again by calling up La Masia players once again. Hopefully that trend continues after the fine performances of some of the rising stars of La Masia.
Ansu Fati has been the revelation of the season. Only 16 years old, the starlet has not disappointed since debuting with the first team. He showed maturity when he made his Blaugrana debut by scoring away against Osasuna. Following the international break, he followed up his encore with a goal and assist in his Camp Nou debut against Valencia yesterday. The sky’s the limit for Ansu Fati and he should serve as an example of what happens when La Masia players are given an opportunity with the first team.
It’s true that Ansu Fati and Carles Perez are only playing because of injuries to Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele. Nonetheless, the team needed them and the young players showed that they can rise to the occasion. Had Carles Perez scored what could have been the game winner against Osasuna, the Barcelona media would have been even louder with their praise of La Masia following the performances of Ansu Fati now and Riqui Puig during the preseason.
When Barça had Hristo Stoichkov, Michael Laudrup, and Ronald Koeman on the Dream Team, they also had Pep Guardiola, Chapi Ferrer and Guillermo Amor from La Masia on that team. Xavi, Puyol, Iniesta, Víctor Valdés, Messi, Pedro and Busquets, were part of the successful teams that had Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Eto’o, Neymar and Luis Suarez. Hopefully the days of the club getting the likes of Andre Gomes, Arda Turan and Kevin-Prince Boateng to complete the roster are long gone so that those minutes can be given to the La Masia graduates instead. Ernesto Valverde benefitted from calling up those young players and was right to limit Ansu Fati’s minutes and ask for the media to not hype the players up too much. Ansu Fati and others like him need to be watched over carefully. That should have been the plan in the past for all La Masia players and should be the plan now and forever.