Barcelona president Sandro Rosell slammed Arsenal for the latter’s recent signing of 16-year-old Jon Miquel Toral Harper from Barcelona academy. The North London side spent £300,000 to bring the striker, and thus, infuriating Barcelona camp.
Regarding the deal Rosell said, “It's very important to keep this group of young lads together with a grounding in our way of playing football.
'We don't like it when other clubs come with offers of money just before the player's 16th birthday. It's legal but a little immoral.”
Rosell’s reaction is pretty much understandable given Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger’s record of spotting talented players whom others just overlook. Wenger brought current Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona academy in 2003 when the midfielder was just 16-year-old and last summer Barcelona had two offers for the Spaniard turned down by Arsenal.
Rosell may have his own reasons to be frustrated, but the reality is that Barcelona is currently struggling financially and cannot offer contracts to all the potential young boys.
So, when a boy of 16 cannot get some sense of assurance from his existing academy and at the same time is offered a contract by a club of Arsenal’s stature who has a history of nurturing young talents then naturally he would do exactly what Toral has done.
Barcelona should not be disappointed, rather they should learn a lesson and focus more on young talents instead of spending millions on the star players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic. In fact, Barcelona has already produced some of today’s world famous players like Lionel Messi.