Arsenal to continue their Barca tradition with new target

Arsenal are well renowned for their ability to pick up and mould youngsters into quality players.

This is particularly prevalent when they’ve plucked players who have failed to make the grade at Barcelona.

Cesc Fabregas and Hector Bellerin are the best examples of those who fell through the cracks at La Masia before making a name for themselves in north London.

If transfer rumours are to be believed, which is a big if, Alex Grimaldo will be the next in line to follow this career trajectory.

Despite the untrustworthy nature of some rumours, this one seems to hold some credence due to Grimaldo’s criticism of Luis Enrique.

The Barcelona B captain spoke out about the manager’s refusal to call up talent from the reserve squad, signalling his growing frustration in Catalonia and potential openness to a move.

Grimaldo claims he’s had no contact with Enrique, and this could lead to the Gunners picking up a promising left back.

The 20-year-old has represented Spain at youth level all the way through to the Under 21s, and managed to grab four goals for Barca B last season.

Arsenal would clearly be a great destination for Grimaldo, and he only needs to look at Fabregas and Bellerin to see he would get a chance.

The current Chelsea man moved to the Gunners in 2003 after, like Grimaldo, he began to feel his first team opportunities would be limited at the Camp Nou.

Skip to eight years down the line and he’d won the FA Cup, the Community Shield, reached a Champions League final and become club captain before being sold back to his boyhood club for approximately £30million.

Meanwhile, Bellerin has been able to outshine recent signing Mathieu Debuchy to become fist choice right back at Arsenal, and is regularly featuring in Premier League teams of the week.

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Dan Ross

After a brief stint as a commentator, Dan took his passion for football into writing and went on to gain an NCTJ in sports journalism. A lifelong Walsall fan, he's followed the Saddlers through the highs, getting to Wembley for the first time ever last season, and the lows, namely relegation to League Two in 2006.