Poaching news

New Arsenal youngster looks pretty tasty… Barca aren’t happy though



Arsenal. You gotta love them, don’t you? They play football the ‘right’ way, don’t spend stupid money on superstars and a lot of their players look sooooo cute you want to kidnap them and tie them up in a silk lined memory chest, taking them out occasionally to cuddle and feed.

You may want to do that – you weirdo – but one person who definitely doesn’t love the Gunners, is Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, who BLASTED Arsenal for pinching Jon Miquel Toral Harper.

Toral – who turned 16 earlier this month – has just signed professional forms for Arsenal having been nurtured and cared for like a beautiful flower in the Barcelona greenhouse.

The trouble for Barca is that the Gunners nipped in and offered him a professional contract before the Catalans, thanks to the help of Pep Guardiola’s brother – Pere – who is Toral’s agent.

Rosell is not too happy with Arsenal for their latest player pinching, having had to watch Cesc Fabregas and Fran Mérida join the Gunners in similar circumstances in years gone by. Speaking in the Daily Mail, the Barca head honcho said:

“It’s very important to keep this group of young lads together with a grounding in our way of playing football.

‘We don’t like it when other clubs come with offers of money just before the player’s 16th birthday. It’s legal but a little immoral.”

Not exactly as BLAST from a supersonic hairdryer, but you can see why he’s a bit miffed, can’t you? Or should Barca have not snoozed and losed? Let us know what you think with a comment below.

In the meantime, here’s a clip of the whippersnapper in action. The second goal is liquid chocolate.

10 responses so far
  • JamJam // February 24, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Can someone ask Barcelona how they “got” Messi too… talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

  • Adam // February 24, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Spanish law prevents FCB from offering a professional contract that would even compete with arsenal’s offer of 250k – 350k euros per season plus a first team bonus. fcb youth who are signed to a youth contract get a 10k bonus at the age of 16. there was no opportunity for them, they weren’t caught napping, the playing field just isn’t level.

    arsenal invests in a few players while barca invests in an academy. they don’t develop players, they let other clubs do formative work and then poach at precisely the right moment.

    messi is an entirely different beast as he was about 12 when he came to barca and rose through the youth ranks.

    ultimately Toral had made it clear he wanted to be in the EPL though and arsenal should be a good environment for him. maybe arsenal should keep that in mind with cesc. plenty of time before we find out if this was a steal or a waste of money.

  • R2Dad // February 24, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    It’s my understanding that Messi’s father took his kid to Barcelona for a trial, to see if they wanted to sign him. Barca’s system is geared towards grooming kids 12-18, vs Arsenal’s focus on 16-18 year olds that other programs have grown. I am curious how this is getting back to Pep, since it’s his brother that is facilitating this “poaching”. I do wish the football world could agree on acceptable behavior for all and if they can’t agree, to make laws to protect a club’s investment in child players. 350K may only be the initial front end fee, but Barca probably deserves more like 1M if the kid plays 20 games+ per year in the EPL.

  • Arsenalisto // February 24, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Haha Arsene is teaching them a lesson not to mess around with his players! It’s not only Fabregas they have poached.. many more as you all know including Nasri these days. If they were really interested in him, they would have at least talked to him about his future not necessary signing any papers if they were really serious with him and he wanted to stay.

  • Jim // February 24, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Marc Overmars, Emanuel Petit, Silvhino, Thierry Henry and Alex Hleb, all unsettled by Barcelona and eventually bought by them,

  • Nic da Dic // February 25, 2011 at 3:06 am

    >New Arsenal youngster looks pretty tasty

    If you can make those jokes then I can sing:

    There’s only one Arsene Wenger,
    There’s only one Arsene Wenger,
    With a packet of crisps and a cheeky smile,
    Wenger is a f***** paedophile.

    Classic never grow old.

  • Fourstar // February 25, 2011 at 3:32 am

    @Nic da Dic: Oh do grow up, moron.

  • Scotian // February 25, 2011 at 10:34 am

    “Marc Overmars, Emanuel Petit, Silvhino, Thierry Henry and Alex Hleb, all unsettled by Barcelona and eventually bought by them,”

    But all spent their best years at Arsenal before failing at Barca.

    But the most stupid Barca-snapping move was MU giving back Pique without realizing he was actually a quite decent player.

  • couch // February 25, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Pep should just look at the trophies Barca have won without the players Arsenal poached, and compare them with the ones Arsenal have won with those players…

    Cheer up Pep, you’re the manager of a successful trophy winning club, Wenger is still riding on the successes of 5 years ago, desperately hoping Man U follow Chelsea this season so he can finally win something

  • Skeptical Hippo // February 28, 2011 at 2:45 am

    lol U guys mad that Arsene Wnger is styling on all of you Barcelona dik-riders?? hope off the bandwagon phags, Wenger is a genius, literally, his IQ is higher than any manager in football and it always several steps ahead of any other person, including that corrupt knight Sir Faguson.

Leave a comment
  1. View comments in RSS feed