Added: Monica Jobe - Date: 23.01.2022 15:47 - Views: 41608 - Clicks: 5336
Gerard Lopez's young side sealed their place in Segunda A with a aggregate win against Racing Santander. Not necessarily. There was a lot of debate last season when a of players who had come through the academy were allowed to leave to facilitate the arrival of players who the club felt were better equipped if not necessarily Barca-style players to help them achieve promotion into the second division. For example, the scorers against Racing -- Marc Cardona and Dani Romera both 21 -- were brought in from Sanluqueno and Almeria respectively. Impressive defender Marlon Santos, meanwhile, was on loan from Fluminense.
Barca have already moved to make that deal permanent. Those ings have served their purpose, but there's a big gap between winning promotion from the third tier of Spanish football to the Blaugrana first team. There could be. Marlon is the obvious candidate given his performances for the first team at the end of the season. Looking in-house, there are some encouraging teenagers in the B team as well. Midfielder Carles Alena 19 was very much to Luis Enrique's fancy and trained almost exclusively with the first team in the final months of the season.
There are growing calls for the captain and right-back Sergi Palencia 21 to get a chance, too. Further down the line are left-back Marc Cucurella 18 and striker Abel Ruiz 17 , who came on as a late substitute in Sunday's game against Racing. It's good news for the club that all these players will be able to play in Segunda A next season, especially after the setback of losing Jordi Mboula to Monaco last week. In theory, it's great news. Spain's third tier consists of four regionalised divisions and in the kindest possible terms, it can be an absolute slog.
It's not the best place to develop players for Barcelona's first team. Having the B team in the second division provides a much better nurturing ground. New manager Ernesto Valverde has suggested he is keen to work closely with the B team, and promotion makes that even more likely. However, with the demands increasingly high and more and more players arriving from elsewhere each year, whether anyone will actually get a prolonged chance to prove themselves in the first team is a different matter entirely.
Progression from the B team to the first team was already slowing down the last time the reserves were in the second division. They have. Since they've spent 22 seasons in the second tier and their latest promotion means they're back for a sixth time in the 21st century, more than any other reserve team across Spain. Real Madrid, Villarreal, Athletic Bilbao and Sevilla have all had reserve teams in the second division in recent years, but next season only Barca and Sevilla's second strings will be competing in the division.
The last time Barca B were promoted to Segunda A -- before their relegation -- was under Enrique in Only Sergi Roberto remains at Camp Nou from the team that won promotion in , but a look around Europe reveals the calibre of players Enrique had at his disposal seven years ago.
Is Lopez the right man to help bring through another batch of players like that? That is the question the club have been asking themselves. There are some doubts about Lopez and his style of football at times, but he deserves credit for this promotion. Speaking on Sunday night he said he would meet with Pep Segura -- the head of Barcelona's academy -- on Monday and the expectation is he will remain in charge. However, his work will be more in the spotlight than ever now.
While until now his objectives have been primarily -based, the focus will now, once again, be on developing talent for the second team -- promotion to the top flight is not permitted, since Barca's first team are already there. It's a difficult balance to strike but one he must strive for. B team promotion gives a peek to the future. England hit with stadium ban for Euro final. FIFA begin women's football advisory board. Ansu Fati boosts Barcelona, Man United woe. Klopp tight-lipped on future of in-form Salah.
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A Second Look