Some years ago there were around 15 students from the Samuel Eto’o Foundation in Douala, Cameroon, who were transferred to La Masia because of their great abilities and talent. This was the start of a series of Cameroonian talent at Barça. Recently, even more kids have followed. The best-known of them are Jean-Marie Dongou, Franck Bagnack and Fabrice Ondoa, who are all regulars on the B team except for the last, who is waiting to get his chance. Then there are some of the underrated ones, like Lionel Enguene and Wilfred Kaptoum. While Enguene is played in a more attacking role, Kaptoum occupies a playmaking role, like Andrés Iniesta and Xavi Hernández.

As you can expect from a La Masia midfielder, Kaptoum is a very sound playmaker, with all the traits to become a high-class midfielder. His most noticeable trait is elegance: he’s one of the most fluid midfielders in all of La Masia. He has a strong sense of leadership, and it seems like his ball distribution is effortless, as though it's all all so easy for him. Kaptoum's ‘stop and turn’ feint is particularly a work of art -- it's a move we’ve all seen Xavi do to perfection in the past decades. Kaptoum also has incredible vision, and a knack for making excellent passes.

When Kaptoum arrived at La Masia, his technical level was above the norm for his group age. But even though he had his advantages in attack, he had his problems in defending. We know he has improved defensively because he has also been used in the defensive midfielder role in past seasons, at Juvenil B and Juvenil A. This has helped him become a better player not only defensively, but also tactically, as the deep-lying ‘6'.

Enquired of by Tata

When Tata Martino arrived as coach of FC Barcelona, it was said that one of the first names he enquired about was 17-year-old Kaptoum. Much to the surprise of many at the club but to those who have followed Kaptoum over his time in the Barcelona youth ranks, this was hardly a surprise. He had a splendid 2012/13 season, playing in 28 out of 34 matches, scoring five goals as a DM and also winning the Juvenil B League title. He was the key player on the team, with Adama Traoré and Munir El Haddadi.


When Kaptoum first arrived in 2008 he was very highly praised, and people saw him as a future replacement for Xavi and Iniesta. Now people are not as confident in him because of all the midfield talent there is at La Masia. Having to compete with older talents like Denis Suárez, Sergi Samper, Rafinha Alcântara, Alen Halilovic and so on, people have started to ignore Kaptoum, even though he’s still a very good player.

Juvenil A and Barça B

Last season at Juvenil A he was again a key player, together with Munir El Haddadi and Adama Traoré. And again he was played at defensive midfield, as the holding mid. At times, he did get moved up to central midfield while Juan Antonio Ros covered the defensive midfield. Kaptoum and Juvenil A had a historic year, winning the Double, with comfortable victories in the league and UEFA Youth League.

Even though Kaptoum is still eligible to play to play with Juvenil A, he has been registered as a Barcelona B player last season and was in the starting 11 for the league opener, away to Osasuna. Given the circumstances, Kaptoum played very well, even though he understandably had a shaky start. He scored his first Barça B goal in an easy victory against Alcorcon. He has played three games with Barça B, and since he’s still eligible to play for Juvenil A, he is registered in their UEFA Youth League squad and has played two games for them. Unfortunately he was sidelined with a 6 week injury, but will return to the B-team, replacing his current replacement, Pol Calvet, who has been sluggish and off form in the games he has played.

As it is always with La Masia players, it is very difficult to say whether or not Kaptoum will break through in the first team but one thing is for sure: The talent is there.

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