The previous two players were always among the main candidates to leave as part of the squad revamp. But the departure of the next youngster has perhaps sparked the most controversy of all. The exit of Konrad de la Fuente took many fans aback, especially for a miserable fee of 3 million plus add-ons.
From the very beginning of his career in the youth ranks, Konrad was touted as the next great winger from La Masia, and there was plenty of things to support that conviction. Always hugging the touchline, the young American showcased dazzling speed, flashy dribbling and exquisite ball control. In 1v1 situations, he was a killer, but there was still many facets to work on.
Promotion to Barça B and subsequently the first team was imminent, and Konrad de la Fuente immediately impressed. However, he needed to develop his weaker sides, which is something that he really struggled with. In the end, the 19-year-old failed to solidify his spot despite clearly being backed by Ronald Koeman. He did start to improve in the latter stages of the 20/21 season. Especially when it comes to the occupation of half-spaces and central areas. But the board didn’t deem that to be enough.
As much as it is a shame that Konrad has been sold in spite of his undeniable potential, his sale brings up an issue I would like to address. Getting rid of talented players is inevitable. Barça has the facilities to produce talent in every position, on a consistent basis. If any player stays at the B for longer than usual, it only deters the newcomers from developing. De la Fuente is a ‘victim’ of that vicious cycle, and there’s nothing wrong with his departure given he’s unlikely to become a first team regular.
Leaving the Club
When Olympique Marseille came calling, Barça didn’t hesitate to negotiate a deal. That means they also consider Konrad’s chances of making it to the very top slim. The fee looks way too small but, aside from the financial aspect, this looks like a great deal for all parties.
Best of luck on the next chapter of your promising career, @konradjr_ !