Ronald Koeman has implemented a new model at Barcelona which involves developing young talents for the future of the club. Moreover, he needs enough quality squad depth to compete in the league as well as in the European competitions. Barcelona missed out on both La Liga and the Champions League during the last campaign. However, Koeman seems to have prepared ahead of the current season.
Koeman enforces youth empowerment at Barcelona
He managed to do some considerable business in the transfer market with such a low budget as Barca became the highest spender in La Liga. The club had to sacrifice the veterans who took up the majority of the salaries but were not a part of Koeman’s plans. Barca tried to fill in the empty spots with youth prospects like Francisco Trincao from SC Braga and Pedri from La Palmas. Portuguese right-back Nelson Semedo saw himself being replaced with Ajax teenage star Sergino Dest.
Koeman has also decided to help improve the youth academy graduates offering them a chance into the first team like Ansu Fati. Defender Ronald Araujo found himself lucky to have received his first opportunity to shine so early in the season against Sevilla. The 21-year-old center-back came in to substitute Clement Lenglet in the teamsheet who had been awarded a one-match ban for his red card. Araujo made the most of his appearance as he stood tall like a rock in the defense.
Araujo makes himself known to Barcelona fans
The Uruguayan took 7 appearances to break into the first-team and hopes for more league appearances as Barcelona is short on defenders with Araujo himself and Umtiti as the only backup available. According to Diario Sport, the youngster has his release clause doubled with him playing no more for Barcelona B. His initial clause was 100 million euros which are now 200 million euros as per his contract. Koeman will utilize the player more with time because Umtiti is sidelined with an injury and is inconsistent with his performances.
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Barca is going through a transition phase and Koeman is guiding the club so that it does not reach new lows. The boss has changed the previous formation from 4-3-3 to 4-2-3-1 which has a double pivot in the midfield. Pjanic and Busquets feature in the defensive midfield to push the ball forward and make some openings with long balls and diagonal passes. The players are trying to get accustomed to the tactics as the season proceeds.