There is probably no better upbringing for a player than being in La Masia, the Barcelona academy. Bojan Krkić is a product of that special place and in fact is the highest all-time goalscorer in the youth system with over 400 goals! However, at 23 the early potential that likened him to Lionel Messi appears to have run dry… Can Stoke revive his career?
La Masia has produced some of the best current Barcelona stars including Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Xavi, Andrés Iniesta, Pedro and of course Lionel Messi. It is also behind the production of Cesc Fàbregas, Pepe Reina, Thiago Alcantara, and Victor Valdes to name a few more. However, with every world class talent that comes through there are also a couple that get left behind or perhaps stutter, Bojan and perhaps Issaac Cuenca (who played against Chelsea in their Champions League Semi-Final) are examples of this.
Bojan played for the full Barça side 104 times in La Liga scoring 26 times before spells at Roma, Milan and most recently Ajax (where he played 24 Eredivise games, scoring 4). We named Bojan as one of our best “under the radar” signings of the summer and his pace and ability to finish a chance will certainly aide him make a name for himself in the Premier League. The boy has bags of talent and is still only 23 years of age meaning his 4 year deal is great business for the Potters.
I believe Bojan was simply unfortunate to fall behind Pedro, Cristian Tello (now on loan at Porto), Alexis Sanchez and then Neymar in the Barça pecking order. Following the arrival Marc Muniesa at Stoke last summer, another La Masia product who didn’t quite live up to the hype, Mark Hughes now has two players gifted with tremendous technical ability and desire to succeed. I can’t wait to see another Spaniard attempt regain the form and potential once promised over in our shores!