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One La Masia product should benefit from potential Neymar swap deal – opinion

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…

It feels like every day we get a different take on the whole Neymar Junior to Barcelona saga. Today, Sport have come out with an update stating that Barcelona are now ready to offer Jean-Clair Todibo along with Ivan Rakitić, Ousmane Dembele on loan and a large sum of money for the Brazilian. Even though that deal would be incredibly foolish, it should open a door for one La Masia graduate.

What’s the word, then?

The deadline day is almost upon us as 2nd September edges ever closer with each passing day. The clock is very much ticking for the Catalans if they really want to get this deal over the line. The ball, however, seems to be in Paris Saint-Germain’s court most of the time as Sport claim Barcelona have made them a brand new offer.

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And in this one, on top of getting Rakitić, Dembele on loan and €130m (£117.8m) they would also get the young defender, Todibo, who just arrived at Barcelona last year from Toulouse. The deal itself really looks to be a rather bad one for Blaugrana as they would be giving away some young players with high potential along with an experienced piece of the squad and a ridiculous amount of money.

But if this deal were to somehow happen, Barcelona would suddenly be short-staffed at the back and that’s when Chumi comes into play.

One door closes…

Juan Brandariz Movilla or simply just Chumi, is currently a Barcelona B player who plays as a centre-back. Chumi is only 20 years old and so far, his involvement with the senior team has been minimal, to say the least.

He only participated in three games with Barcelona but if this deal does happen, Ernesto Valverde should hand him a huge chance to really make a name for himself and establish his standing in the senior squad. After all, if Todibo does leave this summer, that would leave Barcelona with only Gerrard Pique, who’s 32 already, Samuel Umtiti, who’s had serious problems with his knee before and Clement Lenglet.

Three centre-backs to occupy two positions throughout a long campaign is not really ideal, especially considering one of them is over 30 and the other is still injury prone. Extra cover is needed, and Chumi should be the man who gets the opportunity to provide it.

So far, he’s managed 28 appearances for Barcelona B and 14 for their U19 squad, tallying one assist in the process across tenures with both teams, and while his capacity at the top level isn’t wholly clear right now, he’s a La Masia product through and through. Barcelona’s greatest successes have been built on the talent in their academy – Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta were all products of the setup – but such stories have dried up of late.

Chumi may or may not be the man to provide another, but Valverde won’t know for sure until he’s given a chance.

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