Adama Traore has hit out at Barcelona after claiming he was not given a chance to succeed at Camp Nou.
The 20-year-old, now at Premier League side Middlesbrough, joined Barca at the age of eight and worked his way through the youth ranks to the fringes of the first team.
He made four appearances for the senior side but failed to hold down a regular place in the squad before being sold to Aston Villa in 2015.
He spent just one season at Villa Park, with the club suffering relegation, before joining Aitor Karanka's Boro.
Traore looks back fondly on his time in Catalonia but remains frustrated at the manner of his departure. Asked what he lacked to make it at the Spanish champions, he told Mundo Deportivo: "I left because I was not given an opportunity. If I had it I could say what I lacked. Nor did they tell me why.
"They made me stay at Barca B, where I had been for two years, and my mentality was to keep growing. I just asked them to let me show if I had the right level to be there or not.
"No one spoke to me. I would have liked someone to have given me an explanation."
Traore has shown signs of promise at the Riverside Stadium - his speed and dribbling ability have caught the eye - but, again, has failed to establish himself as a first-team regular, perhaps validating Barca's decision to let him go.
"I respect and understand Barcelona," he added. "Everyone makes their decisions - they had the best three strikers in the world so I had to look for alternatives. But that is the past. Now I'm focused on my work to be one of the best.
"My mentality now is to become a top player and for that I work every day."
Barcelona's first refusal on the player has now expired.
Traore said: "Over time, we'll see if Barca made the right decision, but I'm not upset.
"Barca gave me everything and I will always be thankful for everything I learned and that they taught me."