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Liverpool switch could prove key in the development of Cristian Tello
- Updated: 14 August, 2012
We all know that Barcelona place great pride in developing their young players and harnessing the talent that La Masia has produced. A staggering 17 of Barcelona’s 25 man squad came through the ranks there.
But one of their products has been left out of that squad, and he could be heading for the Camp Nou exit door in the near future.
Cristian Tello spent the first half of last season in the Barcelona B team, but he was eventually drafted into the first team after injuries to David Villa and Pedro. Tello finished the season with an impressive seven goals in 22 games, so why are Barca considering letting him leave?
Liverpool are being strongly linked with a swoop for Tello, with Marca tonight reporting that Merseyside club’s Managing Director Ian Ayre is in the Catalan capital negotiating with Barcelona officials over a possible move.
Brendan Rodgers has of course taken over the Anfield club and is looking to strengthen his frontline, shown with the capture of Roma striker Fabio Borini. But he’s likely to implement his 4-3-3 system from his time at Swansea City, and this means using out and out wingers. Luis Suarez could convert to play on the wing but the departures of Craig Bellamy, Maxi Rodriguez and Dirk Kuyt have left an opening for another winger.
Tello is fairly limited – he’s very, very quick but technically he’s not as good as you’d expect from someone trained by Barca. He does so well to get into good positions through pace and dribbling, but his end product leaves a lot to be desired.
He is only 21 though, and a move to Liverpool could benefit him greatly. Rodgers has previous experience of turning raw, pacy wingers into more complete players – just like at Nathan Dyer and Scott Sinclair, who like Tello, had a long way to go before they became the key components they are today.
Rodgers took them under his wing and developed them, and Tello could certainly thrive under his stewardship. The Northern Irish manager had earned a reputation for playing a ‘continental’ style of football where the ball is played on the deck – which isn’t a million miles from Barcelona’s philosophy.
The style of football is ingrained in Tello’s DNA, and he would seem a natural fit into Rodgers’ system, but with Ibrahim Afellay linked with a move away from the club as well, Barcelona could choose to hold on to Tello.
In recent years, the club has taken the option of selling young players with the opportunity to buy them back for a slightly higher price in the near future. Maybe this would be the best option for Barcelona in Tello’s situation, as the years under Rodgers could make him a more rounded player and ready to contribute for the Catalans.
For now though, Tello is too raw to make a real impact under new boss Tito Vilanova next season. Whether it be a loan spell or a buy-back scenario, Tello needs regular football at a higher level than the Segunda where Barcelona B currently ply their trade. That regular football could just be under Brendan Rodgers at Anfield.Follow @icentrocampista