Liverpool’s attempt to sign young Barcelona forward Sergi Canos show the difficulties faced by young players in Spain – and the lure of the Premier League.
Liverpool have been linked with a raid on Barcelona for their young centre forward Sergi Canos.
Liverpool and Arsenal are amongst a number of English clubs who have signed players from the youth teams at Spanish football clubs in recent years, with mixed success.
For every Suso, there is a Dani Pacheco. To highlight an even more extreme case, for every Cesc Fabregas, there is a Fran Merida.
Arsenal currently have Hector Bellerin and Jon Toral in their Under-21 squad, both signed from the famous Barcelona academy of La Masia, and they will certainly hope they are more Fabregas than Merida.
Spanish academy graduates are often tempted by moves to England, for there are less restrictions financially with what you can offer youth players.
In addition, the greatness of the current Real Madrid and Barcelona teams at present could inhibit their youth team. After all, as strong as the set-up at Barca has been in the last decade or so, Lionel Messi does not look like he is going to be replaced as the club’s first choice centre forward.
For teams such as Liverpool and Arsenal then, there is an opportunity. Tempt a player away from the big clubs in Spain as he nears graduation from the academy, and finish his training in a new country, acquiring a promising young player for minimal cost.
The player too benefits, for they are more likely to earn the first team football they crave at an earlier stage.
As ever though, there is a vast chasm between under-21 and first team football, and there can be no guarantee that they will excel at the highest level.
However, it is easy to see why Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers could be willing to take that gamble, for the losses are minimal, and the winnings potentially huge.