Barcelona’s strategy as the ‘Fermín Formula’ revolutionizes development

Fermin Lopez / Getty Images
Fermin Lopez / Getty Images

Barcelona plans to send more youth players on loan to prove their worth for the first team.

One of the players who has been most surprising this season is Fermín López. The young academy graduate returned in the summer from Linares, where he spent a year on loan playing in Primera RFEF. Xavi Hernández gave him the opportunity in the preseason, and the boy impressed. So much so that he has ended up establishing himself in the Terrassa coach’s squad and with a first-team number before the end of the season. The so-called ‘Fermín formula’ has set a precedent that has made the Barcelona football management rethink things.

According to Ferran Martinez of Mundo Deportivo, with the arrival of Deco and the people he trusts the intention is to slightly change the traditional planning of academy players and adapt it to what many other top clubs in Europe do: send them out on loan and prove that they can have a future in the Barcelona first team.

Normally, a player from FC Barcelona would mature at home. And if they left, it was very difficult for them to return and establish themselves in the first team. Now, Barcelona has a generation of exceptional very young players, but except in very special cases, like Pau Cubarsí or Lamine Yamal, the rest must follow a maturation process that can often stall if they stay at home. Furthermore, it is considered by the club that going abroad can be good for the player in terms of mentality: they will be able to experience a different type of game and football reality very different from that of Barcelona, where from a young age they have always had all the luxuries and facilities and have been protected.

The idea at Barcelona, especially now in times of crisis, is to maintain control over the players until they are at least 22 years old. Depending on the case, about three seasons after they graduate from the youth team, to prove that they can make the definitive leap. Additionally, it will also be a way to gain experience in the elite and increase their value. A formula that Fermín has taken advantage of, but which has already begun this summer with other players with first-team potential.

On the other hand, if it is later demonstrated that they don’t have the level for Barcelona, only for a chosen few, they will have increased in value and can be sold for more than what they would have earned by staying at the Barcelona reserve team. It won’t hurt the club’s finances either.