The English Daily Liverpool Echo may have related the origin of Barcelona FC to Liverpudlian witty brothers; however, there can be more to the Liverpool-Barcelona in the coming times than just that.
According to official stats,of the 32 players who played for Barcelona in their last campaign, 21 were academy youngsters. We are also very well aware the effect that this had on the Spanish national team in the recent times. Even seemingly undroppable players in England like Torres and Fabregas could not make the cut in the Spanish National time, which was filled with a flurry of La Liga players.
Now, with seven players of Liverpool playing in the England U-19 and a plethora of promising English youngsters filling the reserve ranks at Anfield, Liverpool look set to mirror the Barcelona- like effect in England in the coming days.
Also, under Kenny Dalglish, Liverpool looks set to buy premier league players and preferably English players, which could be an expensive exercise given the transfer market operating in England. However, constant links to Ashley Young (who may well be missed out due to absence of premier European football at the club next year), Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson, Gary Cahill and even Connor Wickham etc., only re-inforce Liverpool's recruitment strategy, which may well be that of attracting the best available British talent around.
Now, whether the Reds are able to gather the resources will be clear by the end of the present summer transfer window. And even if the Dalglish and Comolli have their targets, the success of the process in application would only be realized as Liverpool progress through the season.
However, under Rodolfo Borrell (who was incidentally appointed by Rafael Benitez after he had overhauled the academy in his last year at the club ), the former Barcelona academy manager who had overseen the progress of players like Messi and Iniesta in their teens, for the first time in over a decade, Liverpool FC can hope for a great supply of talent from the academy and the reserves (The signing of the much wanted Raheem Sterling has been a revelation and was also a signal of intent in the Benitez era.).
Now, though the transition from academy to the senior level is a huge one and many a great promising talent has lost out in the process, whether or not the academy players are able to mature the way Barcelona has found out remains to be seen. The entire process now looks a much better one for the Reds, unlike most other premier clubs in England, who are more keen on recruiting either foreign players or buying proven talents in the transfer windows.
The greatest drawback in building a team with superstars from the transfer market is that you need to constantly spend big, much like Real Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea are used to in the present and even Manchester United did until the recent past.
Also, only academy youngsters would still prefer a backseat for the senior players to learn from them. Big money buys, whether kids or otherwise, usually want a fact paced track to senior level football. This has been Barcelona's greatest advantage, as they could maintain a good and constant supply of players without bothering about their ego problems because of their bench stay. Players like Thiago, Maxwell and Bojan etc., who could be regulars for many a top club around the world, were always at their service. Clearly, Mascherano and Afellay wouldn't play that role for long.
With the financial fair play coming into effect soon, focusing on the academy may be a long term measure taken by premier league clubs in the future; however, at the moment, the performance of the Liverpool academy has really been encouraging and not only Liverpool, but the England National Football team may stand to benefit from it.
Now, only time will tell whether they can be as wonderful and stylish as Barcelona are at the moment (as it is incredibly tough to collect the accolade of "best club squad ever" like they have, and deservedly so), and predicting it makes little sense; however, Liverpool FC's greatest club team in the 80's would be well known to Kenny Dalglish. Under his tutelage, the Reds fans can dream on, and who knows? Liverpool FC may well be able to repeat their golden days.
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