5 Players Most Likely to Be Loaned out by Barcelona This Season
The 2014/15 season could be an interesting one for a number of Barcelona players.
Those on the periphery or those that just can't seem to remove those ahead of them in the pecking order, have decisions to make.
Do they stay put and dig their heels in, in the hope that an injury or change of tack from manager Luis Enrique forces their inclusion?
Or go out on loan elsewhere to build up the experience required to then make their inclusion nothing more than a formality?
For one or two in this list, the next few months are vital to their development as footballers, one wrong decision could be the difference between a career at the very highest level or the lower reaches of the football pyramid.
Let's take a look at who is likely to go out on loan this season.
Jean-Marie Dongou burst onto the scene at Barcelona a few seasons ago and was immediately showered with compliments only reserved for the very best.
Sky Sports' Graham Hunter was effusive in his praise of the player in an interview with totalBarca:
There is one guy who is the best I have ever seen. I saw Messi at sixteen but Dongou from Cameroon is the best footballer at sixteen I’ve ever seen in my life. He is phenomenally quick, finishes brilliantly and works, he has been taught to work and press a lot.
Since then it's fair to say that his progression has stagnated somewhat. Dongou only has a few fleeting cup or substitute appearances to his name.
Now 19 years of age, he has still not been handed a squad number for the first team and remains a member of the Barca B squad.
If he, and Barca, want to see him up front in the first team anytime soon, then he will need to get games at the highest level.
An early season loan could be beneficial for all concerned.
Adama Traore made his first team bow last season at 17 years of age, and he also went on to represent the Blaugrana in the Champions League.
There are high hopes for the youngster with electric pace and a skill set to go with it. While he still has much to learn, there's no reason to think that he couldn't be fast-tracked into the first team picture.
In order to do that he needs games at the very top level and not for Barca B in the Liga Adelante.
Whether or not a loan is with another La Liga club or elsewhere is somewhat of an irrelevance because he has the pace to scare even the meanest defences.
This is one player who needs a loan to further his immediate ambitions.
Sergi Roberto is another youngster who has been knocking on the door for a while now, without ever seeming to prise it open.
Comfortable in possession of the football, and certainly not overawed in his previous substitute appearances, Roberto evidently suffers because of the Catalans being well covered in the central midfield areas.
Andres Iniesta, Ivan Rakitic and even Rafinha Alcantara will all don the jersey before Roberto is given a thought.
Gerard Deulofeu, Sergio Busquets and Javier Mascherano could also all lay better claim to a starting berth than Roberto.
A loan to another La Liga side would be the most sensible option.
Unless Dani Alves is sold and the club are unsuccessful in their attempts to procure Juan Cuadrado, then you can't see Martin Montoya making too much of an impression, again, on the first team picture.
Back in January, Montoya's agent Josep Maria Orobitg suggested that his client would only sign a contract if he was promised more playing time, per Alex Richards of the Daily Mirror:
At the moment everything is stopped [regarding a renewal with Barcelona].
The situation is clear - if we cannot reach an agreement on a new contract, Montoya will be free to find a new club. It's a complicated situation.
Possible future in Italy for Montoya? Every day I have to clarify the situation of Martin, who has been requested by three clubs in Serie A.
Montoya also has enquiries from other major European leagues, not just Serie A.
As things stand, Dani Alves is the No. 1 right-back at Barcelona.
Alves has been the first choice right-back at Barca since arriving at the club in 2008; dislodging a player of Alves' status is not easy.
With that in mind, Montoya must consider his future. If he is not convinced he can be a regular at Barcelona he will have no qualms about leaving the team.
Expect any contracts to be renewed once it becomes clear that the young Catalan doesn't have a hope of making a regular impression at first-team level.
Pedro Rodriguez is sure to start the season and spend at least a month or two as a regular.
Frankly, there is no way that a player of Pedro's quality will be happy to spend at least another half season on the sidelines and that is precisely the scenario when everyone is fit.
Furthermore, he faces having to "job-share" with Gerard Deulofeu should any of the main strike-force get injured later in the year.
Expect a January loan to an English Premier League club.