(Original post by matchdayG)
I haven't been following the youth league at all tbh, mainly because we weren't in it. Watch out for Harry Wilson and Jordan Rossiter. They (Munir and Adama) seem amazing but so did Dongou two years ago and I've not heard about him since.
Deulofeu's been injured and is always subbed on or off, unfair to expect too much, imo. I know Barca have a different barometer when it comes to youth development but Deulofeu has developed nicely this season. To expect him to be ready to replace Sanchez is unfair/unrealistic. I agree with your points about sending him here and having to adapt and re-adapt, it seemed odd and a real coup from Martinez to get him. Has Alexis not stepped up enough to make you think that he's good enough to start every game? He's an outright world class player. I've got dreams of having him here at Lpool if he forces his way out. I know how his style clashes with Messi's.
Thanks for the information on Luis - you've done a better job than most of the journalists. I'm just particularly interested in Alberto because everyone in Spain said it was a real triumph of Rodgers' that he managed to get him here and he's not shown much so far. Idk if you heard but he got a 12 month driving ban for drink-driving the other day, and there are rumours that he's very homesick/unmotivated (even if his gf seems very happy here on twitter). I wouldn't want to loan him to Spain specifically for that reason - he'd get used to his old lifestyle and his old playing style and it wouldn't make him a better PL player at all. He needs games over here.
Good to hear about Suso, and it's pretty much what I've seen and read as well. Almeria are a truly shocking football team, he's done great with what he's got to work with. They're probably getting relegated, and Suso's had a bit of backlash from the fans, so it will have mentally toughened him as well. In England, to work on the wing, you have to have pace or at least get goals and assists. Suso was pretty toothless when prematurely thrust into our team last year and I don't think anyone at Liverpool thinks that he could play on the wing in the long term in the Prem. I think he'll follow a similar progression to Coutinho, start off as a winger with aspirations of playing as a CAM, and then fit in at both CAM and CM. He'll need to improve his defensive workrate but given Rodgers' success with Coutinho in this department, I'm not too worried about it.
We also have Tiago Ilori out on loan at Granada. You might have seen him when they beat you 1-0? I only had half an eye on the game but he seemed amazing. And backs to the wall defending isn't even his strength, he's one of the quickest defenders in Europe, I've got huge hopes for him.
I meant "replace Alexis" as in become Barça's 4th-choice forward behind Messi, Neymar Pedro and not reach his quality, that would be ridiculous of course. This season he's certainly improved or added some aspects to his game, e.g. his improved work rate, but hasn't really majorly developed as a player, relatively speaking. Of course there has been progress, but if you compare it with Rafinha, who wasn't anywhere as good as Deulofeu last season and has really ripened and become a more refined player under Enrique, then that's relatively underwhelming measured by the expectations in him. This is not so much down to playing time really; as I said, the problem is more that playing at a la liga side would have been more beneficial for him than at Everton and in the PL. Also judging from his Twitter he doesn't seem too fond of staying there anymore.
Saying that, of course these expectations are riduculously high. But that's the problem with la Masía, the players can't really be given the time they need to develop as there are so many talents coming through the ranks. Speaking of him, an example would be Dongou, who has stagnated a bit; he's still a great talent but right now it seems Munir has eclipsed him and Barcelona only need one 9.
The problem with Alexis is not so much his incompatibility with Messi, but the fact that he isn't really the type of winger Barça's 433 needs to be clinical up front. Barça play with a creative, supporting midfield and supporting fullbacks, so the forward line should ideally have two goalscoring wingers that convert the created chances. Eto'o - Henry - Messi was like that, Villa - Messi - Pedro was like that too. Alexis is more a more creative winger that works best in a support role. This is not a problem if you play him with Messi up front and a scoring winger à la Pedro on the other side, but now there's Neymar who - at least at the moment - takes the support role, and having 2 support wingers isn't really effective. Barça could have adapted to Alexis more by for example buying a different winger than Neymar, but now with Neymar's potential and the fee paid for him, he's obviously above him in the pecking order.
I personally wouldn't mind keeping him at all as I like him (and to be fair he's been great under Martino - dat golazo against Madrid), but then I think he's too good a player to be Neymar's understudy. Give him a team where he would be one of the main creative sources for a clinical striker and he'd flourish, cf. Udinese. Thus him in combo with SAS would be quality... Honestly don't know where he'd end up, there have been rumours about Juve in the Catalan press lately but then all kinds of crap is being reported right now in the wake of the ban saga.
Wrt Luis and Spain that makes sense, I guess coming from Spain to England is more of a culture shock than vice versa. He'll get used to it though, perhaps having Muniesa around will help a little, they were friends at Barça B. In that case a loan back to Spain doesn't really help though. About his football, it's a tricky situation atm but he's too good to be given up on really, he's a gem and I honestly think he could turn out amazing. Would be sad to see such a talent go to waste.
Yeah, Ilori was one of the defenders on Barça's mysterious shortlist (if there ever was such a thing) last summer. Not sure whether you've seen the game v. Betis, but he was amazing in that one, by far the best player on the pitch and probably one of Granada's most dangerous players going forward too
The game v. Barcelona was great as well. The other games were solid from what I saw. I think he'll be immense, although I have a bit of a soft sport for him since he scored that goal in his first match for Sporting. I guess he and Sakho will be your future partnership, should be good. They'd compliment each other nicely.