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No Barcelona DNA this time?

By Walter Broeckx

There hasn’t been made a big fuss about it but Arsenal have signed another youngster from the famous Barcelona academy.

Georgios Spanoudakis is his name and in Barcelona his is known as Giorgio. His name sounds Greek and that is natural as his father comes from Greece but the boy was born in Germany and has the German nationality.

He started his career at Eintracht Frankfurt but when he was 11 years old Barcelona invited him for a trial and then offered him the chance to stay there. He has been one of the best players in their youth teams and people had high hopes of him being a Barcelona star in the future.

But now Georgios has chosen to come to Arsenal. He is still only 15 years and so will be a scholar for now. But he has made his début already with the U18 in a match against Lincoln that Arsenal won with 1-0. Playing with older boys, and that is what he has been doing a lot also at Barcelona I have been told. Don’t know if this is true but I will just pass it along.

He is a left footed midfielder and has also played in the more defensive role at Barcelona. For a young lad he is already rather tall with 1,83 meter at 15. As can be expected he has good technical skills. He can score goals when he is put in front of the goal. He can dribble past people and has a good eye for openings for team mates. I have seen a few video clips and they look promising.

But of course it is still early days for him. But well, dare I say it… he has a bit of Cesc about him I would say. Bar the DNA of course as he was born in Germany and with his Greek ancestors he can’t really have Barcelona DNA.

So it will be interesting to see how he develops in the next season. H could play for the U16 still but I wouldn’t be surprised to see that he will be put in the U18 team to see how he will adapt and to make him stronger.

As far as I can see his homepage and twitter and facebook account still say he is a Barcelona player so it might be that he hasn’t found the time yet to change it all or it might be that we have signed his twin brother (if he has one) or signed someone with the same name. Of course we cannot expect arsenal.com to mention each youngster they get on their books to be mentioned as they do with first team players. So for once we will believe the papers and most of all Jeorge Bird and his Arsenal youth website. http://arsenalyouth.wordpress.com/ if you want to check it yourself.

Now before we get too excited about this and think we got the next Cesc Fabregas we must mention that not all the players we have bought from Barcelona turned out world beaters from the word go. Cesc of course was special till he wasted his DNA. But Fran Merida didn’t made it in the end despite a few nice matches in the league cup.

We still have 3 former Barcelona players on our books apart from new boy Spanoudakis. Jon Toral, Hector Bellerin and Julio Pleguezuelo.

Jon Toral played in the first half against Boreham Wood and he is a good player but having seen him live I also noticed that he does run too much at times with the ball. But who am I as one of my friends who was with me was lyric about his performance that day.

Hector Bellerin…well I have said it enough times by now that I think he can be our next right back in one or two seasons. I completely believe in him.

And Julio Pleguezuelo who is a central defender and who is only 17 years old has signed professional terms this summer with Arsenal. Not the biggest around but vision and presence can make up for that. Maybe he is more the type of a Koscielny defender and not really the Mertesacker type.

So a few names to remember for in a few years time. Georgios Spanoudakis being the most recent of them. Some German efficiency, with Barcelona flair and Greek determination might be a nice combination if we can make it work.

And talking about Germans one of our youngsters didn’t make it in the end.  Thomas Eisfeld has been sold to Fulham. At 21 and with the players in front of him it was clear that the chance of him getting any playing time soon was very small. A player who could score a goal but for me also a player that went missing too much during some matches.

It is of course always sad to see a player from the youth not making it but this is the way it goes. Only the very, very best will make it at Arsenal in the end. The others can try to find their own new career with other teams. So I wish Eisfeld all the best in his career at Fulham and hope he can get a good career there and wherever his path will take him.

The books

11 comments to No Barcelona DNA this time?

  • Syed

    Greetings! 🙂
    My first post on untold finally! (although I have been a follower for a while)
    message to admin : please keep up your wonderful articles which are a please to read because of the valid and unbiased points you usually make

  • Syed

    #pleasure to read
    sorry..typo 😛
    p.s. I have always loved the fact that this site has always stood by the manager and the club even during the times of hardship which now seem to be a thing of the past (hopefully)
    And thank you also for being a class apart from such websites that only strive for hits generated and sensationalism 🙂

  • Mick

    Walter, did not Ignasi Miquel come from La Masia, the Barcelona academy?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Mick, you are absolutely right.
    The author of this article runs away in shame hiding for the rage that will come down on my from Untold Towers. 😉

    Strange that I could forget him as I am rather fond of him and I hope he will be promoted this season and we will see more of him in the first team.

  • Mick

    Walter, he has been waiting in the wings for a long time now and has shown admirable patience so he deserves a chance to show his qualities. I think if he does not make a breakthrough this season he may well seek pastures new next year in search of regular game time.

  • john L

    ive always been impressed by miguel when he has played and see him as our fourth choice back. he often has had to play out of position on the left…i wonder if he might prove to be yet another player wenger has benefited in the long term by playing them wide early in their careers….

  • jayramfootball

    This is one a long line of players from Spain’s top academies and very few seem to make it through – like Fabregas did. I don’t think we will see or hear much of this kid for the next 5 years.
    To me this is no news at all, just another kid taking his chances on being a pro footballer and most likely will fail.

  • Micheal Ram

    Thanks jayaramfootball,

    Then it would a waste of time and energy for you to write at all. You don’t determine whether the boy makes it or not, not the club, not the manager. If the boy is strong and good enough, he makes it at Arsenal or somewhere else. I sense a jealousy of ‘I watch football but can’t play’ type of person clouding your judgement.

  • Will

    We really need to start getting some top class players coming from the Arsenal school as there have been very few in the last few seasons.

    It annoys me when people start mentioning players like The OX, we took him at 15/16, he is hardly a product of the youth academy. I would like to see players who started with us aged 9 coming through.

    As for Eisfeld, I really thought he had a chance the way Wenger would talk him up.

  • jayramfootball

    @Michael Ram – what exactly are you talking about?

    I said that I don’t THINK that we will hear from him for 5 years and that he is a kid that will LIKELY not make it – hence no real news.

    That is completely true. Do you realise how many 15 year old kids actually develop to become world class players? – which is what you need to be to good enough for Arsenals first team.

    What I said was true whether you like it or not – I couldn’t care less about a 15 year old player – or whether he makes it. If he does great, then I will want him to contribute. If he doesn’t then I’ll buy some burgers off him.

  • Quincy

    Erm, no. We haven’t signed him actually:
    http://www.totalfootballmadness.com/2014/07/25/barcelona-starlet-georgios-spanoudakis-denies-arsenal-agreement/

    As far as I can tell, this rumour comes from the Daily Fail.