Top prospect choosing Barcelona over Real Madrid shows a huge problem at the club

Real Madrid, Barcelona. (Photo by Visionhaus)
Real Madrid, Barcelona. (Photo by Visionhaus) /

Are Real Madrid no longer the “dream” club for youngsters? Has the allure of the prestige that Los Merengues carry started to fade away? Will Barcelona restore their supremacy over Real Madrid as they did before the 2019-20 season? Well, I guess the answer to all these questions will be hard to digest for Madridistas if the recent signing of Pablo Torre of Racing Santander by Real Madrid’s arch-nemesis is concerned.

Pablo Torre is an 18-year old, highly-rated attacking midfielder who was being scouted by multiple clubs across Europe, including Real Madrid and Barcelona. The two rivals were vying for the player’s signature, but Barcelona have managed to capture the signing of the Spanish wonderkid.

Real Madrid simply don’t give their youngsters enough chances to make an impact

The player signed for Barcelona not because he is a Culer, or not because he hates Real Madrid, but simply because of the fact that he will get to show how good he really is by representing the Blaugrana. Call it helplessness, an action borne out of necessity, or anything else, but Barcelona have set a template by promoting young talent coming through their ranks.

The likes of Gavi, Nico González, and Óscar Mingueza among others have come through the famed La Masia academy and have managed to establish themselves as key members of the squad. Others like Pedri, the best young midfielder in the world without any qualms, were purchased from smaller clubs.

The exacerbating financial condition of the club and the equally lamentable on-field performances, coupled with the unceremonious exit of Lionel Messi, forced the managers – first Ronald Koeman, and now Xavi – to place their trust in the younger players of the squad.

President Joan Laporta and manager Xavi have been prudent in their actions, though. What once seemed to be a ship destined to sink has been revived, repaired, and steadied. At least that’s what the current form of Barcelona suggests. And much of the credit for their rich vein of form goes to the younger crop, who have repaid the faith with interest.

Looking at the giant strides the likes of Pedri and Gavi have taken, any up and coming teenager would want to follow a similar path. That is what has enticed Pablo Torre, resulting in Barcelona coming out on top.

Current Real Madrid prospects almost never feature for the first team, even though they’re good

That’s where Real Madrid fall short. Real Madrid have a lot of bludgeoning talent in their squad and academy. Players such as Antonio Blanco, Miguel Gutiérrez, Sergio Arribas among a few more have managed to land a place in the first team in the recent past. However, they haven’t been given enough opportunities to properly cement their status in the senior squad. All of these players have performed very well, and they thoroughly deserve minutes.

In that respect, former manager Santiago Solari was exemplary. He promoted youngsters, giving opportunities to the likes of Sergio Reguilón and Marcos Llorente, both of whom managed to bench Marcelo and Casemiro respectively. Zinedine Zidane first, and then Carlo Ancelotti, have simply not entrusted the younger and less experienced players of the squad. There are just so many examples of players who were unfortunate to not have received the minutes/opportunities.

The unfair distribution of minutes throughout the squad comes at the expense of the young players. Although they are hungry to prove themselves, they just do not have the avenue or platform to showcase their capabilities.

Since 2018, Real Madrid’s signing policy has focused on purchasing young, talented players who have a limitless ceiling. But the upcoming summer transfer, where the likes of Kylian Mbappé and Erling Haaland could arrive, could signal a change at the club.

The arrivals of proven talent and the best players in the world might be a statement of intent from Real Madrid: The club hasn’t tasted European success since 2018. They want to return amongst the most-feared teams in Europe. The sort of fear that Bayern Munich or Manchester City or Liverpool strike into the rest of Europe. The sort of fear that Real Madrid struck from 2010 to 2018.

The likes of Fede Valverde, Éder Militão, and Vinícius Júnior have already developed and are ready to lead the next era for Real Madrid. Add to that the Mbappé-Haaland duo, and the core is complete.

It will be interesting to see what the future holds for both Real Madrid and its youngsters. A lot is talked about the overuse of Real Madrid’s experienced players in the news – especially the midfielders – and the trend seems to be continuing as long as all the first-choice players are fit and available to play. Such a strategy might pull the team down when it matters the most as fatigue can lead to a decrease in performance levels and, in the worst case, injuries. And thus, it’s important for the manager (Ancelotti in this case) to rotate the squad wisely.

Next. Real Madrid Transfers: 5 things Florentino Perez needs to accomplish. dark

The Real Champs
The Real Champs /

Want your voice heard? Join the The Real Champs team!

Write for us!

For now, though, Real Madrid are not the favourite destination for young players in need of minutes. Real Madrid are not a team that develops young talent. They never have been. But we are all privy to the fact that prospects (players aged 23 or under) are dominating modern football. The Pablo Torre transfer to Barcelona is a perfect case to provide those at the club with a wake-up call before they fall further down the pecking order.