Grimaldo: Barca have forgotten about youth

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Former Barcelona prospect Alex Grimaldo has hit out at the La Liga club, accusing management of disregarding their youth academy.

The Benfica left-back, once regarded as one of Barca's most promising players, opted to leave the Camp Nou in January 2016, after failing to make a single appearance for the first team.

Speaking with O Jogo, Grimaldo made it clear that his decision to move to Portugal was because he felt that he was not going to break into the Blaugrana set-up, despite being skilled enough to do so.

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"It's always been hard to get into Barca's first team, but now the club aren't even looking at their academy," the 21-year-old said. "The players who leave are good enough to stay there."

The Spain Under-21 international was unfortunate to suffer a serious knee ligament injury in October 2016, however, and was not able to build on the excellent start he had made to his career with the Eagles.

"My future? At the moment, I'm focused on the national team," he declared.

"I had an injury that kept me out for a lot of the season, but I'm very happy for the minutes I played and level I played at."