La Masia is reborn

Koeman has bet on Araújo, Mingueza, Ansu and Ilaix; he has given the green light for Èric García's return home; and Collado and Jandro appear. Miranda grows in his assignment at Betis and behind comes Balde.

The image of Luis Enrique's National Team last Sunday in Tblisi, with Èric García, Dani Olmo, Thiago, Sergio Busquets and Alba on the pitch, transported La Masia. Because at Barça, that is also happening. And also, on curious steps. For starters, Koeman has recovered three veteran homegrown players who seemed doomed after Bayern's 2-8 in Lisbon. That night, in Da Luz, Piqué offered to step aside; and Busquets and Alba appeared in all the transfer lists of the summer. Koeman, however, sat down with all three. He has recovered them in terms of performance and commitment in the dressing room to explain a way of doing it, that of La Masia.

Bad sporting and economic times, plus Koeman's bravery, have precipitated a rebirth of La Masia. The Dutchman made Ansu Fati, now injured, and Araújo, fixed almost from the start of the season. And then, he has been a meritocratic technician. He has kept Mingueza because he knew how to perform when he needed elements in defense; and Ilaix Moriba's number of minutes has been increasing in accordance with his performance in key matches such as Sánchez Pizjuán and Sadar against Sevilla and Osasuna.

And Koeman wants more. He gave the go-ahead to the signing of Èric García because he was aware that he was saving the learning process of any signing. The Manchester City central, just 20 years old, will arrive in June and already knows the secrets of the base and the language of football that has been spoken for more than three decades in Barcelona. Because he also grew up in La Masia.

Putting aside the matter of Riqui Puig, a player with Barça DNA but with the problem of a lobby that, because it is unconditionally favorable, has become toxic and has tried to elevate him above good decision-making on the field, La Masia does not stop of dribbling players. And Koeman is more than attentive. This season has already made his debut Konrad (2001), an unbalanced winger who can help in these austerity times in Barcelona, but who must also make fewer mistakes on the field. Several midfielders, in addition, make their way into Koeman's preferences. Álex Collado (1999), fine left-hander, must break now. Jandro Orellana (2000), a quality medium, could make the preseason with the first team. Nico (2002), son of the mythical Fran del Depor, also grows. Somewhat slow, it's technical and has good fundamentals of the game. As a positional midfielder, he has grown under García Pimienta. Barça has been looking for a replacement for Sergio Busquets for years ... 444 444

And there is a future on the left side. Juan Miranda (2000) has matured this season at Betis. Considered one of La Masia's greatest assets three years ago, there were doubts at the club about its competitive level. With Pellegrini he has hardened and Barça has a unilateral renewal option. The player is happy in Heliópolis, but the last word is from the Barça club and their progress is obvious. In the same garden in which Miranda has been raised, Alejandro Balde (2003) grows up, who is barely 17 years old but has a projection. Finally, there are also goalkeepers: Iñaki Peña (2000), Arnau Tenas (2002). La Masia grows.

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