La Masia has provided a long list of talented players since its inception.
Where would FC Barcelona be without its mentoring program and philosophy on how to play football?
Over the past few years we've seen a number of young, talented offensive players like Pedro, Cristian Tello, Isaac Cuenca and Thiago Alcantara come up from the B squad and contribute greatly to the first team. Gerard Delulofeu could join the first team sooner than expected.
But one thing we have not seen much are young defenders coming up from the B squad and contributing.
Andreu Fontàs did not play well last season as he struggled adjusting to the Liga action and eventually was lost for the season with a knee injury.
One young defender that was able to prove his merit with the first team was Martin Montoya. The right-back replaced Dani Alves on a few occasions and showed he is Barça's right-back of the future.
The Barça defense has been good but not great for a few seasons now. Last season was tough as Carles Puyol suffered from injuries along with Gerard Piqué. Eric Abidal was out with his liver transplant.
Javier Mascherano did a great job filling in for Puyol and others. Now with Seydou Keita gone, Mascherano may be more needed at central defensive midfield than center-back.
It is expected that Mascherano will sign an extension with the Catalan giants until 2016 in the next couple of days, according to Sport.es (via Goal.com).
With Sandro Rosell getting one of the best signings this offseason in former Masia product Jordi Alba, the focus has now shifted to CB as Carles Puyol is getting up there in age.
Barcelona has stated the 2012 summer budget was €40 million. Jordi Alba was a steal, costing the club €14 million. The club now has €26 million to spend on a CB.
But should FC Barcelona go looking for a new CB?
I say no.
Because they have two young CBs who deserved a shot at becoming the future full-time center-back for FC Barcelona in Marc Muniesa and Marc Bartra.
Let’s break it down some more.