Eric Garcia, Sergiño Dest, Nico, Pedri, Ansu Fati, Alejandro Balde, Yusuf Demir, Gavi, Ez Abde, Ilias Akhomach, Álvaro Sanz and Estania Pedrola have all made appearances in the 2021/22 season.
That grand total of twelve players aged under 21 is more than any other team in La Liga, and by some margin:
Third in Europe
In fact, Barça are ranked third in Europe’s big five leagues for the number of players under 21 that have appeared this season. Only Saint-Etienne and Rennes of Ligue 1 have used more, 13 each, a figure Barça should be equalling very soon, because new signing Ferran Torres has yet to play his first Liga fixture.
Once Torres has debuted, that will surpass the similar figure of 12 players aged under 21 that were used by FC Barcelona in all competitions in the 2008/09 season: Muniesa, Bojan, Thiago, Oier, Sergio, Botía, Víctor Sánchez, Pedro, Jeffren, Martín Cáceres, Piqué and Messi.
And that’s not forgetting that we’re only midway through the 2021/22 season, and there are yet more youngsters waiting on the side-lines...
These players have not just been playing but they’ve also been making important contributions:
Goals: Ansu Fati (3), Nico (2), Abde and Gavi (1)
Assists: Gavi & Dest (3), Nico (1)
Ronald Koeman, Sergi Barjuan and Xavi Hernàndez can all be thanked for putting such faith in the young talent at the club, and which suggests a glorious future could be just around the corner.
One cannot help but notice that the aforesaid 2008/09 season, when Barça fielded 12 players under 21, was the very one in which they won the famous treble under Pep Guardiola!
Barça is a football factory, and this season we’re enjoying further evidence of that!
Made in Barça
More than half of the youngsters that have been playing this season are products of La Masia (Gavi, Ilias, Balde, Ansu, Nico, Eric Garcia and Álvaro Sanz).
And of course the more senior Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, Gerard Piqué, Sergi Roberto, Óscar Mingueza, Iñaki Peña and Riqui Puig also came out of the Barça youth system, as did the current coach, Xavi Hernández.
Since making his managerial debut against Espanyol on November 20, Xavi has added four names to the list of under 21s used this season, while also continuing to depend fully on the likes of Abde, Nico and Gavi, demonstrating his absolute faith in the flood of young talent that the club carries on producing year after year.