The two speeds of the ‘Next Generation’ of Espanyol and Barça

It is inevitable to aim at the quarries when Espanyol and Barcelona meet on the pitch. Two clubs used to training their own players, each with their model, who compete from a young age in derbies until only the top of the pyramid manages to reach the first team. If traditionally Espanyol has been famous for giving youngsters more advantages, in recent years, as a result of parakeet sporting instability, its relegation to Second Division and the absence of a solid and coherent leadership, Barça executes the transfer of talents from the subsidiary to the senior team at a different speed.

LaLiga Santander 2022/2023

18Getafe3. 4810fifteen

Complete classification

next matches
Spanish -BarcelonaD-14/05 21:00
Ray – SpanishD-21/05 14:00
Spanish – athleticM-24/05 22:00


*Data updated as of May 10, 2023

This season, 12 players who have passed through Espanyol’s grassroots football (or at least through the subsidiary) have participated in the League and remain in the squad. There are consolidated for many years as the captain Sergi Darder, Javi Puado or Adrià Pedrosa, who will leave on June 30 by not renewing. He is followed by Nico Melamed, the last youth player who has managed to establish himself after making his debut in 2019 and becoming part of the first team in 2020. Others such as Joan Garcia, third goalkeeper and unprecedented in the League this season, awaits his opportunity like Rubén Sánchez, Simo Keddari, Omar El Hilali, Luca Koleosho, Roger Martínez, Dani Villahermosa or Nabil Touzai. Pol Lozano had to leave in January without opportunities.

If Espanyol only has four players (Darder, Pedrosa, Puado or Melamed) with some experience in the First Division, Barça could multiply the number with players like Ronald Araujo, Ansu Fati, Sergio Busquets, Pablo Gaviria (Gavi), Sergi Roberto or Eric García, while other young talents such as Alejandro Balde began to emerge strongly and have even played in a World Cup. Barça has had up to 14 players this season who have gone through their subsidiary. We must add Iñaki Peña, Arnau Tenas (both have not participated in the League), Lamine Yamal, Pablo Torre, Aleix Garrido, Chadi Riad and Ángel Alarcón.

Spanish playersLeague matchesBarcelona playersLeague Matches
darder214Sergio Busquets478
handful114Sergi Roberto228
Pedrosa99Eric Garcia46
melamed97Ronald Araujo81
joan garcia2Ansu Fati72
ruben sanchez22Gavi66
simo keddari6Bucket3. 4
Roger Martinez1Tower5
dani villahermosa1Riyadh1
Luca Koleosho3graceful1
omar el hilali8jamal1
Nabil Touzai1alarcon4

The players coming from the subsidiary accumulate 817 meetings with Barça while those from Espanyol 568, with Busquets and Darder as the agglutinators of a good part of those numbers. While Barça has reached out to its subsidiary in times of few financial resources, Espanyol is having a hard time taking that step, since none of the last coaches has trusted the base. There are contrasts like those of Gavi and Roger Martínez, both from 2004 and teammates previously in the lower ranks of Spain, whose paths follow different rhythms, or those of Koeosho or Simo, still young but on the agenda of big clubs waiting to shine. that potential in the top flight. Lamile Yamal made his debut at Barcelona at the age of 15, as Ansu Fati had done at 16 in his day. At Espanyol, for now, they are taking it patiently.

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