I was thinking of this the other day, reading a Sid Lowe piece about Barca. To take a piece:
Pedro did not arrive at the club until he was 17, Sergio Busquets joined at the same age, and Cesc, Piqué and Alba were re-signed by the club from Arsenal, Manchester United, Arsenal and Valencia respectively. Together, they cost Barcelona almost 60 million euros. Alba was released by Barcelona at the age of 15. Piqué joined United at 17, Cesc made his Arsenal debut at 16. Some argue that makes them more a product of Highbury and Old Trafford than La Masía. Others suggest that Busquets and Pedro arrived already developed.
This got me thinking because players like Cesc, Busquets and Piqué are considered to have come through Barca, but many wouldn’t about Rafael at Manchester United even though he joined at the earliest he was allowed to or Phil Jones. Surely their progress will be altered by being at United? Or for another example, I saw someone on Twitter complaining of Lucas Anderson being called another product of Ajax when he joined them a little over three months ago.
So for you, at what point does a player become considered to have come through the club?