Barcelona academy product, Marc Bartra revealed due to a shortage of appearances, his buy-out clause now stands at a 15 Million, alerting many clubs to his imminent future.

In a situation that mirrors Thiago Alcantara’s just two years ago, Barcelona could lose another promising academy product, due to a lack of appearances, at just a 12 Million.

Despite a treble winning season, and a shortage of specialist central-defenders, Marc Bartra was only sparingly used by coach Luis Enrique. The Asturian preferred the converted left-back, Jeremy Mathieu, and Central Defensive midfielder Javier Mascherano over Bartra, signalling his relegation to the bench.

With an excellent defensive record, Enrique has been vindicated of his choices, yet, it has come at the cost of possibly losing a star defender within his ranks. With Thomas Vermalaen fit and ready to join the squad next season, Bartra may yet drop further down the pecking order, a situation which the 24 year old is keen to avoid.

As with Jonathan Dos Santos and Thiago Alcantara by way of example, there is a tendency from Bartra to outstay his welcome when perhaps he isn’t really wanted. How else do you explain the reticence to use him on a more regular basis?

A genuine love for a club that gave him his footballing education is clouding his judgement and stunting his professional development in the process.

Other young Barca fringe players have eventually found solace in the arms of another club, and at 24 years of age, the time is right for Bartra to test himself against the best.

After a superb showing against Levante however, Bartra told journalists,

We are feeling fit and are all playing a part in this good run. . The most important thing is that we maintain the same level when us less regular players get a game. Or to even improve the level if we can.

If the boss needs me, then I’m always ready to answer his call. I need to be ready to help out at any time.


At 24, Bartra must critically assess what’s best for him

Bartra’s potential exit, however brings to light an inconvenient truth- Barca are losing their best academy products.

The transfer ban seemed the perfect opportunity for Barcelona to display the true wealth of their academy products. Instead, they chose to buy experienced players to cover up certain positions, a solution that has reaped huge dividends. However, looking towards the future, Barcelona’s better academy talents now seem to be plying their trade elsewhere.

Despite injury, Thiago still remains an integral part of Guardiola’s Bayern. Hector Bellerin has taken to Arsenal much better than most expected, leading Arsene Wenger to tout him as a key talent for the future.

At 24, with a couple of national team call-ups, Bartra will be a quality addition to most top sides in Europe. A ball-playing centre back, with good aerial ability and speed, tick all the checkboxes for a promising your defender for many teams needing a defensive presence.

Being linked with nearly everyone, Manchester United would seem an attractive option for the young defender.
Van Gaal’s tactics feed into Bartra’s strong suits. Van Gaal’s teams play a high defensive line with a possession based 4-3-3. He has proven experience in promoting Barcelona’s youth, Xavi, Iniesta and Valdes, amongst others. The team has a burgeoing population of Spanish and latin players, and a wage packet which could be larger than anything he’s likely to earn at the Camp Nou.

At present, the purchases of Rakitic, Vidal, Mathieu and Suarez and Neymar up front, clearly display a shift in tactics, and a change in ideology that has accompanied Luis Enrique. Though it produces the world’s best football at present, Barca might need to look a little critically towards the future.

At 24, and a 12 Million, Marc Bartra would be an absolute steal for most clubs. The summer should prove an interesting one for Barcelona and a potentially career defining one for their young defender.