La Masia coaching staff have singled out a transfer decision which they think will haunt Barcelona for many years to come.
La Liga arch-rivals Real Madrid announced the capture of Japanese teenager Takefusa Kubo for a meagre £1.78m earlier last month. The 18-year old, dubbed as the “Japanese Messi”, joined Barcelona’s famous La Masia academy at the tender age of nine.
Coaches at Barcelona’s youth academy instantly recognized Kubo’s world-class potential, claiming that he was destined for the first team. The Japanese’s discipline and work ethic was unmatched by any of the other players.
However, following a four-year spell, Takefusa Kubo had to return back to Japan after Barcelona were declared guilty for breaching youth transfer rules.
Former Head of Academy at Barcelona B and current General Manager Pep Segura reportedly ignored the petitions of Kubo’s agents to reinstate him into La Masia as he considered the cost of the operation to be too much. As a result, Kubo left the club he desperately wanted to make a name at.
Kubo’s departure due to financial reasons, however, greatly contradicted Barcelona’s transfer deals which followed. The club spent millions on unknown Dutch players, including the son of newly-arrived Frenkie de Jong’s agent. Another academy player, 16-year old midfielder Ilaix Moriba, recently signed a new contract worth €2m million-a-year.
Barcelona recently signed another Japanese player, 20-year old Hiroki Abe for €2m who is also destined to reach great heights. However, the general consensus within the Barcelona camp remains that the club’s youth programme has shifted from its traditional policy by poaching players instead of honing them.
As for the senior team, Barcelona have spent a staggering €1bn on players since the 2014/15 season, more than any other club. The acquisitions of Ousamanne Dembele for €105m plus add-ons, Phillipe Coutinho for around €140m and most recently Antoine Griezmann for €120m features in the top 10 transfer deals of all time.
The fact that the Spanish giants could not keep hold of the highly-rated youngster has left the La Masia coaching staff deeply disappointed. More so because he could now feature for Real Madrid in the coming years.
A source among Barcelona’s coaching staff at La Masia stated that “the whole Kubo episode has been Barca’s biggest mistake in a long, long time”.
Takefusa Kubo is currently training with Real Madrid in Montreal ahead of their preseason tour.