Carles Perez has criticised former employers Barcelona for not always showing enough patience with young players after he left the club for AS Roma during the January transfer window.
The Spain under-21 international joined the Giallorossi on loan with an obligation to make the move permanent this summer for $12 million (€11 million), plus add-ons.
Perez, 22, is clearly looking to move on from his time at the Camp Nou. The winger appeared on Instagram Live (via Marca) and said that while he respects the transfer decision, the Blaugrana don’t always give young players enough time in the senior squad:
"I'm only thinking about succeeding at Roma. I have four more years on my contract and I'm focused on that.
"I didn't understand my exit, but I respect the decision and thank the club for their treatment of me over the years.
“People talk about the academy, but sometimes they prefer to spend millions and don't have patience with young players. That's how it is. People have to forget my past there."
Perez joined Barca’s academy in 2012 and made his senior debut in May 2019, going on to have five direct goal involvements (two goals, three assists) in 13 first-team appearances for the club.
His last goal for Barcelona came during a 2-1 UEFA Champions League win over Inter Milan. The attacker’s only Roma strike to date was also in his first start for the club, a 1-0 Europa League winner against Gent in February:
Barcelona's academy, La Masia, holds a reputation as one of the most prolific producers of youth talent in the modern era, but there's been more of a disconnect between it and the first team in recent years.
Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets are each graduates of the academy currently reigning as celebrated first-team members, but the list looks short after that.
Perez’s departure for the Stadio Olimpico was particularly controversial as it came not long before the Blaugrana were permitted to sign Leganes striker Martin Braithwaite under emergency terms.
Ansu Fati, 17, became the second-youngest player to debut for the club in August when he came on for Perez against Real Betis, aged 16 years and 298 days.
However, Barca have encountered criticism for not giving other young prospects more first-team chances, such as Carles Alena (22), Moussa Wague (21), Riqui Puig and Alex Collado (both 20).