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Barcelona’s win against Elche provides a glimpse into the future of the club

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Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

FC Barcelona have not been at the top of their game for a few years now, with the club struggling to compete for the league title in recent times.

There have been many contributing factors behind the club’s sudden demise, including the financial mismanagement of the previous regime. But another significant factor has been the club’s inability to transition to a new era and remaining overly reliant on old guards such as Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets.

However, it appears the phase of transition from the old guard to the future is already underway in Catalonia this season, under the tutelage of Xavi Hernandez, who has made great efforts to promote younger players and give them the opportunity to perform at the highest level.

It has been evident this season, with Barcelona finishing their recent game against Elche with an average age of 22.6, reports SPORT.

The match ended with four players under the age of 20, including Alejandro Balde, Gavi, Pedri and Ansu Fati. In fact, if we count only the outfield players, thereby excluding goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, the average age goes down to 21.9 years.

On the flip side, coach Xavi Hernandez has not made any attempt to keep the older players within his first-team plans. He has not relied heavily on either of the four team captains in Sergi Roberto, Busquets, Alba and Pique.

In fact, none of the four players featured in the win over Elche, with Roberto missing out due to injury while the remaining three had to sit on the bench.

Alba’s decline has been particularly evident as the left-back has fallen behind Balde in the pecking order, racking up just 126 minutes of league action. Pique, too, has endured a steep drop in stature after his struggles with injuries last season, coupled with the new look defence’s improved performances.

This shift in team selection has affected Barcelona positively, which has been evident in the club’s blistering start to the season.

The Blaugrana sit atop the La Liga table after collecting 16 points from six games so far, following the win against Elche and the future is looking bright for Xavi’s young brigade.

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