Does Luis Enrique intend on using Barcelona's returning youngsters?

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

Rafinha and Gerard Deulofeu are back at Barcelona. They could get a chance to secure first team places.

It's been a busy day at Camp Nou. Barcelona introduced former B-team coach Luis Enrique as their new manager, while also announcing three player moves. All three were expected, but there's a bit of an implication in this announcement that deserves looking at, especially in light of Enrique's appointment.

Borussia Mönchengladbach goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen's signing is obviously very significant -- he'll probably start for Barca next season -- but the rest of the news is interesting as well. Rafinha Alcantara and Gerard Deulofeu both had successful loan spells this season, and if Barcelona's making a point of announcing their loan returns along with ter Stegen's signing, it almost reads like an announcement that they'll have a chance to play for Barcelona next year.

Now, that's certainly not set in stone -- teams announce loan returns, then loan those players out again all the time -- but the placement of the announcement doesn't suggest that. And that placement, along with the appointment of those players' former coach and Rafinha's boss at Celta Vigo, implies that they have a role to play with the Blaugrana.

Their stay would also make sense given the rumors flying around about the potential exits of Christian Tello, Isaac Cuenca, Pedro, Alexis Sanchez and Cesc Fabregas. At least a couple of those players will leave in the summer, if not three or four of them, and they can't all be replaced by high-priced superstars. Barcelona's going to want to replace backups with cheap La Masia products, not expensive players, especially when they need all of the money they have to rebuild a broken defense from scratch.

Barcelona seems to be in the process of starting a new era at the club. Maybe that means giving first team places to Rafinha and Deulofeu.

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