There was once a time when Barcelona boasted arguably the greatest footballing side of the modern era – a team made up almost entirely by players who had honed their trade in the club’s famous La Masia academy.
These days, however, the lack of fresh-faced talent emerging from within has caused no end of hand-wringing in Catalonia. And it doesn't help that Barca have taken to letting some of their most exciting youngsters leave before even giving them a chance in the first-team.
Alex Grimaldo, the hugely talented left-back who left the Camp Nou for Benfica in the winter of 2015, is one of the finest examples of Barcalona failing to make the most of arguably the most productive academy system in European football.
And according to Jornal di Noticias, via talkSPORT, Grimaldo could be about to take his development a step further with a big-money move in January. It is understood that the 22-year-old is on Tottenham Hotspur’s radar as they look for a replacement for exit-linked Danny Rose – with a £25 million move to North London on the cards.
Though Grimaldo has suffered with injuries throughout his young career, he is a truly elite talent who could become one of the world’s best under the guidance of Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino. After all, there are few managers in world football who are better at coaxing out the potential in young talents.
But can Spurs take advantage of one of Barca’s biggest mistakes?