Aside from the goalscoring return of Ansu Fati, the start to Barcelona’s La Liga season hasn’t necessarily been one to write home about.
Ronald Koeman’s insouciance towards president, Joan Laporta, certainly hasn’t helped matters, and the Dutchman’s tactics have left a lot to be desired in certain matches.
One area he can be lauded for, however, is the promotion of youth.
Since taking the helm at the Camp Nou, Koeman has given many of La Masia’s best talents their first-team wings, and in so doing has brought down the average age of the side considerably.
The likes of Ansu Fati (18), Pedri (18), Gavi (17) and Nico (19) are just a quartet of many U21 players that the senior side have in their ranks.
According to Sport, only Bayer Leverkusen have given more minutes to youth players in Europe’s top five leagues this season.
It certainly bodes well for the longer term, with the Catalans needing some good news to mask the enveloping gloom at the club.