A LOOK AT LA LIGA
I managed to make the eyes of Pep Guardiola light up this week with one simple question "How much pleasure does it give you to introduce an academy player, compared to spending millions on a superstar?"
It related to him giving 18-year-old Cole Palmer his Manchester City debut on a wet Wednesday at Burnley but clearly stoked up his desire to carve careers and create players rather than sign finished articles. It's what he did back in the day at Barcelona, and what his old club have reverted back to.
After the tortuous summer, there is a quiet revolution taking place in Catalonia. With the focus on Lionel Messi's rebellion, little attention has been paid to the complete change of agenda within the walls of the Camp Nou.
Look at the team picture for this season and you'll be forgiven for not recognising half of the squad. When fans are allowed back into the stadium, a programme will be a necessity to identify some fresh and exciting new talent.
With a clear out of the 'thirty-something' stars who have served the club well, there have been pegs up for grabs within the changing room.
Nélson Semedo, Ivan Rakitić, Luis Suárez and Arturo Vidal moved on and needed replacing as Barcelona also needed to balance the books.
Ansu Fati has already claimed countless headlines by becoming Spain's youngest ever scorer and hitting two on the opening day of the season. But let's park the 17-year-old for a moment. There's a first teamer a month younger!
Pedri arrived from the Canary Islands, where he'd been the most-used player at Las Palmas last season. His grandfather ran the FC Barcelona 'penya' in Tenerife. It was written in the stars.
The narrative doesn't end there. Sergiño Dest, half Dutch, half American, turned down the chance to play for the Netherlands a year ago. The coach was Ronald Koeman. Luckily Koeman doesn't hold grudges and invested 21 million euros to sign the 19-year-old from Ajax.
Another summer recruit was 20-year-old Francisco Trincão who cost 31 million euros from Braga. The fact that he's already made his Portugal debut and has a buy-out of 500 million euros suggests he's going places.
Another statement is giving Carles Aleñá the coveted number six shirt. He made his debut in 2016 and was loaned out to Real Betis last season but has returned as a serious contender for the first team. The same goes for Ronald Araújo, a 21-year-old centre-back who has been on the fringes despite getting sent off thirteen minutes into his debut last season.
It could be a memorable season if the kids can become united.
La Liga's official Man of the Match sponsor may also require a rethink. Budweiser needed to select an alternative to Ansu Fati after his outstanding display against Villarreal because he isn't old enough to consume the product.
Maybe it's time to launch a non-alcohol product with the Barcelona next generation in mind? That's "WhassUp"!