How often have we seen footballers with huge reputations come to a club like Barcelona for big money and fail to live up to the expectations? And how many times have we seen La Masia products get promoted to the first team and fail to replicate what they were able to produce in the youth system?
In this article, we take a look at players who have the ability and the talent to make it at the Nou Camp but who have not managed to reach their full potential. The reason may be injuries, competition for places, or sometimes, disappointing performances. These players' growth appears to be stagnant at the Catalan capital, with their only chances of significant development being a move away from the club.
Here are three players who need to leave the Spanish giants to kick-start their respective careers.
#3 Riqui Puig
Riqui Puig is a highly-rated La Masia graduate who hasn't been getting much game time in the Barcelona first team due to the competition for places in the Blaugrana midfield. The 20-year-old is a central midfielder by nature, who can play anywhere, ranging from a number six to a number ten due to his brilliant technical ability.
Puig has played just two games in La Liga this season and right now, it is looking like there won't be as many opportunities for him to play for Barcelona as they are heading into the most important part of this season. With the Catalans' midfield contingent full of good players, it would be better for someone like Puig to leave the Nou Camp this summer.
It could either be a loan deal or a permanent one but it would be better for the midfielder to remain in Spain's top-flight next season.
#2 Ousmane Dembele
Since signing for Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund in August 2017, Ousmane Dembele's career at the Nou Camp has been plagued by injuries. He recently suffered a torn muscle in February, which will most likely keep him out until the start of next season.
In his two-and-a-half seasons with the Catalan giants, the Frenchman has played combined minutes of just 2956, which is certainly lesser than the club expected when they signed him.
Even when the 22-year-old has played, he hasn't really shown the capabilities that helped him land a move to Barcelona. The Blaugrana signed him for big money, hoping he could replace an outgoing Neymar but he simply hasn't lived up to those expectations.
Dembele's career has gone downhill since he joined the Spanish giants and it would be better for both parties involved if he moves on from Barcelona, preferably this summer.
#1 Carles Alena
Another La Masia graduate, Carles Alena - after being promoted permanently to the first team in 2018 - hasn't gotten many opportunities to cement his place in the Barcelona midfield.
The 22-year-old is currently on loan to Real Betis until the end of the season and if he manages to impress at the club, there wouldn't be any lack of suitors for him in the summer.
As stated above, Barcelona's midfield is currently stacked with brilliant players, which makes it all the more difficult for someone as young as Alena to make his mark or even get regular opportunities to start a match in La Liga.
It would, therefore, not be such a bad decision to leave the Nou Camp and kick-start his career somewhere else. Considering how highly he is rated, even some Premier League and Bundesliga clubs might be interested in him.