Jordi Mboula

Why Exactly Did Barcelona Let Jordi Mboula Go?

In case you've never come across the name Jordi Mboula, then kindly permit us to school you a little. Mboula was that exciting and electrifying youngster, who shone the brightest in last season's U19 UEFA Youth League. That's why we can't help but query Barcelona's resolve in allowing such player leave.

Born just outside Granollers to a Catalan mother and a Congolese father, Mboula is Catalunya born and bred. He joined the club aged nine and progressed superbly through the ranks without much hype. Apparently, that became irresistible last term following a string of impressive displays which alerted top clubs to tour around him like vultures. Monaco was the smartest and today they've added yet another promising prospect to their squad for just €3m.

Mboula wasn't just good, he was the best. Fast, skilful, creative and physically strong, your definition of a modern day winger. He is as quick as they come and has a wonderful touch which leaves defenders trailing in his wake. His superb attacking artistry was instrumental for the Catalans as they finished in the last four in the youth tourney. After one of his brilliant showing, his manager, Gabri Garcia, admitted: "When you have players of that quality, you can prepare a lot of things. But then, they pop up and there is nothing you can do to stop it."

But that's not all Mboula has in store; he also possesses the ability to score unbelievable goals too. He fired eight times to finish as the competition’s top scorer, with every single strike a masterpiece. A typical example was his solo effort against Borussia Dortmund in the quarter-finals. Mboula showed some sublime skills and plenty of pace as he raced down the right flank, beat two defenders with fancy footwork before slotting in an angled shot that brought fans at the Mini Estadi to their feet.

So you see exactly why Mboula's departure to Monaco has somewhat come as a huge surprise? But even more pathetic was the manner the whole process took place. Barcelona was quite aware the 18-year-old had only one year left on his current deal. Yet, they blatantly refused to match his terms. And knowing another extra year will mean losing him for free, the club promptly resorted to auctioning the player. Monaco turned out to be highest bidder and Barca, without much fanfare obliged.

Now that's not even the shocker. As it is the tradition with Barca and other top sides, we all expected the club to at least insert a return clause in Mboula's contract. But no, they didn't, allowing their most promising star walk away without any likelihood of a return to his boyhood club. They simply had no need or incentive for that perhaps cos they don't see him making it big anytime soon. Worst of all is that the Catalans are still mute over his departure, despite Monaco announcing his arrival on Wednesday. Again, they utterly saw no need for that.

Well, Barca's oversight is obviously Monaco's gain as the Principality club continues to build an empire made up of some of the brightest talents in world football. Mboula will surely benefit from the rare opportunity of cutting his teeth with the first team, having only featured thrice for Barca B. The prospect of linking up with Leonardo Jardim, a manager quickly growing a reputation for moulding youngsters into world beaters, should also excite the player. Kylian Mbappe is the most recent testimony.

On the flip side, Mboula's exit has further opened the horrible can of worm rocking Barcelona's youth system. The once supreme, influential and exquisite La Masia has turned into a death zone for young lads. Sergi Roberto and Rafinha are the last players to establish themselves in the first-team squad. Munir El Haddadi and Sandro Ramirez came close but one's up for grabs this summer and the other was let go for free last year. Sergi Samper has been unable to make his mark despite all the lofty predictions of a successful career, while the likes of Alejandro Grimaldo, Hector Bellerin and Adama Traore are long gone, plotting their path to the top elsewhere.

Whether or not Mboula succeeds at the Stade Louis II, it doesn't change the fact that Barca's treatment of the player was wrong.

About the Author Toby

An unrepentant soccer freak other freaks call geek.

Leave a Comment: