Tottenham Hotspur are scouting Barcelona's youngsters

Clive Rose

Andre Villas-Boas showed up in Spain to watch a Barcelona B match, but who exactly was he there to see?

Many reports have come out in the past few days about Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas and other members of the Tottenham Hotspur backroom staff watching a recent Barcelona B match against Deportivo la Coruna earlier this week. Speculation has swirled about just who AVB was there to watch, but there was certainly plenty of talent on display.

The Daily Mail seems to believe that Villas-Boas was there to run the ruler over midfielder Sergi Samper. The 18 year-old defensive midfielder is being hailed as the next great Barca midfielder, but with 25 year-old Sergio Busquets blocking his advancement it's questionable as to whether Samper will have any opportunities at Barcelona. Samper has only made 9 career professional appearances, all in Spain's second division, but he is definitely a promising player. The Mail also believes that AVB was looking atmidfielder Javier Espinosa, 21, and goalkeeper Jordi Masip, 24.

In an interview with El Mundo Deportivo, as reported by 101 Great Goals, Villas-Boas stated that he was most impressed with winger Adama Traore. Traore has made only 2 professional appearances, but has shown a great deal of potential at the age of 17. Unlike Samper, Traore's path to the first team is less fraught with challenges, but on any team with the talent of Barcelona, the path from the reserves to the first-team is always going to be like that.

There are a number of other players who Villas-Boas could have been looking at in this match. Carles Planas (left back), Denis Suarez (attacking midfielder), and Sandro Ramirez (striker) all featured in the match. All have been capped numerous times at the youth international level and have great potential. Suarez, in particular, is used to playing in England, having been at Manchester City from 2011-13.

Two players that didn't feature in the match, but are still pretty impressive for Barcelona B are Alex Grimaldo, a left back, and, of course, Jean Marie Dongou the promising Cameroonian striker who was the joint top scorer in the NextGen Series in 2011-12 (with Viktor Fischer).

None of these players are of the quality to feature right away for Spurs, or any club in the Premier League, but an influx of talent into the U-21 team wouldn't be bad. Pretty much all these players have the potential to feature for Spurs at some point in the future, so purchasing one would be a good bit of business for the club.

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