Barcelona coach Luis Enrique believes the club’s famed academy can help minimise the impact of a ban on signing players for a year handed down by FIFA.

The Catalan giants lost their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to have the ban overturned this week for irregularities in the signing of players under the age of 16.

Barcelona, who are second behind Real Madrid in La Liga, are banned from buying players during the January transfer window and for the summer transfer period before the 2015-16 season. That means they cannot sign a player until January 2016.

Enrique started his managerial career with Barca B under Pep Guardiola and has already handed debuts to Munir El Haddadi, Sandro Ramirez and Sergi Samper in his first six months in charge at the Camp Nou.

And he believes that the trio and others from the side that won the under-19 Champions League last season can make the step up to the first team on a regular basis.

“It is evident that we would have preferred another decision, but it is what it is and we have to get on with it,” he said on at a press conference ahead of Barca’s visit to Real Sociedad on Sunday.

“The quality of the squad is good enough with the players that we have and we have to bear in mind that this is a great incentive for the youth team players.

“There are players in the academy that I like and that could certainly make the step up. The fact we can’t sign players for next season very clearly opens the door to the young players.”

Of more pressing concern for Enrique is to ensure that his side don’t lose more ground on league leaders Real Madrid at a ground where their title challenge began to unravel last season.

Sociedad boss David Moyes will get his first taste of testing himself against one of La Liga’s giants at Anoeta and, despite a mixed set of results since the Scot took over in November, Enrique insisted he has seen an improvement in the Basque outfit under the former Manchester United manager.

“Real have recovered their intensity and the aggression in their pressing,” he added.

“We have to go there and be very intense because if we are not then we will suffer.” – Agence France-Presse

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