Barcelona must sign a world-class starter and prioritize La Masia talent

Barcelona are only days away from traveling to the USA to kick-start their 2018/19 preseason. Differently to previous summers, the Catalan giants have done their homework early and have already secured the signings of promising playmaker Arthur and proven center-back Lenglet. Sure, neither newcomer can be considered as a world-class addition just yet but, in time, both have the potential to become regular starters if given enough playing time and chances to prove their worth.

Griezmann's last-minute change of heart and the inevitable departure of Iniesta have, undoubtedly, been a couple of difficult pills to swallow for Cules around the world. The club seem to be quite content to counter the bad news with the return to the 4-3-3, additional playing time for Dembele, keeping Paco Alcacer for yet another season and the signing of Arthur. However, the board have an obligation to continue to monitor the transfer market in detail and, if the chance arises, add at least one more potential starter to Valverde's squad.

According to many betting sites, De Jong, Rabiot and Willian are the most likely names to join Barcelona this summer. The Catalan media also suggest the board is working on a couple of 'hidden' potential signings of similar calibre. As long as the price is right and Valverde is fully convinced the player in question would be an upgrade for the current squad, the club should strike while the iron is hot.

Having said all of the above, I strongly believe Barcelona must make an even more decisive effort to nurture the heart of their recent sporting success: La Masia. Years of investing on mediocre players such as Gomes, Digne, Vermaelen or Douglas have hurt the club on a sporting and financial level and, in turn, neglected promising youngsters of their chance to shine at first team level.

With talents such as Aleñà, Miranda, Cuenca, Riqui Puig, Abel Ruiz or Arnaiz all eagerly awaiting a chance, the time is now right for Barca to trust La Masia graduates once again.