“He has the capacity, criteria, knowledge, experience and is a lover of base football. Also, share the game philosophy so special that we have in the Barça" This was one of the phrases that President Blaugrana, Josep Maria Bartomeu, he said when he announced in May 2017 the arrival at Camp Nou as coach of Ernesto Valverde. Debates aside on the purity of the Barcelona style what is clear is that the technician came with a lot of reputation to extract revenue from the quarry for his successful passage through the Athletic and at Barça he has not consolidated any young person. The last player forged in the lower categories who won a real position in the first team was Sergi Roberto, who after years of being patient found his habitat as a right back from 2015 by Luis Enrique.
A distant precedent
Sergi Roberto, the last to settle in the first team, took hold of Luis Enrique on the bench
Since then, many bullets, some fireworks and little substance in terms of a real bet. Valverde has made debut to fourteen young people, from Arnaiz to Araujo through Riqui Puig, Cucurella, Miranda, Carles Pérez or Ansu Fati. Together they add 47 elite matches or, to be precise, 47 participations, because many of them were as substitutes. The one who has had the most presence, in terms of meetings, is Fati, with eleven, while the one that is destined to be the great pearl of the quarry, Riqui Puig, has played in three official meetings, none this season.
110 days without playing
Aleñá seemed the best placed to make the jump but suffers an unexpected ostracism
Puig insisted on Monday that his will is to remain at Barça. The midfielder does not see a transfer clearly, although logically he is a little tired of tanning in Second B, where he usually receives hard rivals from the rivals. “I must have the patience of Xavi and Iniesta,” says Puig. The one from Terrassa and the Manchego also waited for their moment. For them it was not to arrive and kiss the saint but they agreed with a technician like Louis van Gaal, that if any virtue he had as a coach was to give court to the peeps to whom he saw quality. Although he wants to continue Puig has not hidden his disappointment because last season he worked every day with the Valverde team and this season he only exercises in a timely manner with the stars. It has been a small step back that the midfielder did not expect.
Above all, signings
On the left side Junior has passed ahead of Cucurella (Getafe) and Miranda (Schalke 04)
In his third season at Barça Valverde, he has already given enough evidence that he is not worried or occupied with leaving a legacy for the future. He is a pragmatic coach who lives up to date, thinking about the next game. When Dembélé, Suárez and Messi were injured at the beginning of this exercise, he looked down and gave minutes to Fati and Carles Pérez, who remain with the elderly although with less focus in recent weeks.
The lightning and the pearl
Ansu Fati is the debutante who has played the most with Valverde and Riqui Puig is still waiting for B
Meanwhile, Carles Aleñá continues in ostracism. He goes in and out of the calls but does not play since the first day of the League, when he was replaced at rest in San Mamés. That was 110 days ago. His case is paradigmatic. Luis Enrique made him debut in a Cup match in Alicante and then was capital in the last ascent to Second A of Barça B. He remained in the entity, when he suffered an important injury he went back down to the branch to catch pace and last season he had minutes in 27 games. He was appointed to take over Sergi Roberto and be the consolidation player, something that they did not even get back from assignments Deulofeu or Rafinha. However, Aleñá is clear that he has to look for a way out this winter.
As before he found it, first in Eibar and then in Getafe Cucurella. Barca opted for Miranda (now in Schalke) who was green as a substitute for Alba and then signed Junior before replacing Cucurella.
At all crossroads Valverde is used to stopping the quarry. It is still frustrating in an entity that boasts Masia.