Over the past decade, the discourse on Barcelona has become famous La Masia The academy has changed hands several times. In the early 2010s, the brilliance of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Pedro, Xavi, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and others continued to generate buzz, but when Barça failed to repeat their golden era, doubts arose.
Now, however, in crippling debt, the Blaugranas are forced to return to their academy in hopes of replenishing their roster with suitable players. This has contributed to the rise of Gavi, Nico Gonzalez and Ilaix Moriba in recent years.
That being said, a few strikers have caught the eye, including two who particularly impressed fans against Espanyol yesterday – Ilias Akhomach and Ez Abde. Both were able to ensure sufficient width on the wing and showed courage that the club has been missing for a long time.
However, despite her impressive performance, Xavi is unable to use her against Benfica on Tuesday night.
While Abde cannot be registered at all as he has only been with Barcelona B for less than two years, Ilias is absent from the UEFA Youth League after a red card against Dynamo Kiev.
The suspension – which lasts a game – continues in the Champions League as it is an extension of the same tournament.
This could get into trouble for Barcelona and Xavi, who are facing a must-see game against Benfica. Without Ansu Fati, Sergio Agüero, Sergino Dest and Ousmane Dembele, the striker line is painfully disadvantaged, especially on the wings.
The Spaniard could be forced to play with Memphis Depay on the wings against Gavi and Yusuf Demir. Luuk de Jong is also an option, but his involvement seems extremely unlikely.