According to Duncan Castles, Barcelona youth product Josimar Quintero has decided to leave the Barcelona academy in order to join Chelsea FC. While neither club will likely confirm or deny the news right away due to the fact that he's only 16, Castles has proved to have some decent connections with Barcelona in the past and probably wouldn't bother with a story like this unless there was something to it.
The Ecuadorian would be an interesting fit, as those of you who have watched the Chelsea U18 side will have noticed that they are not deep in talent that seems best suited to a traditional wing role. Alex Kiwomya is an interesting wide forward, but really doesn't have the sort of qualities one would look for from a more traditional winger.
From the little I've seen of Quintero, the opposite is certainly true of him. He has excellent speed and a great first touch, and his delivery from wide areas is far more impressive than that of Kiwomya. Combined with the addition of Cristian Cuevas*, Chelsea have added a pair of top-level prospects that will bring an entirely different dimension from the wings to their academy next season.
*Quintero generally plays on the right, where Cuevas is a left sided player
Quintero may presently be best suited to a role on the wing, but he's certainly also worth looking at as depth for other positions as well. He seems to be a solid defender, and by all accounts has a pretty excellent workrate. He's also played centrally in the past, so he should have some level of comfort there already. It's entirely possible that he could see minutes at Chelsea as either a fullback or in the midfield, and that sort of versatility can only be looked at as a good thing.
The best part about a potential move for Quintero would be the price of the move. As a 16-year old who has yet to agree to a professional contract, Barcelona would only be entitled to about £300k in training expenses. At that sort of cost, there is basically no risk involved to the acquisition at all.
Here's hoping that Castles' sources are correct on this one, because there is just no such thing as too much young talent. Next year's academy class is already looking exciting, as guys like Quintero, Cuevas, and Musonda would be some pretty amazing additions to an already excellent group. Who knows, maybe we can even make it 4 FA Youth Cup finals in 5 seasons.