Montreal Impact transfers Canada youth star Tabla to Barcelona

After one professional season with the Montreal Impact, Ballou Tabla (pictured) will continue his development at Spanish giant FC Barcelona. (Photo: Canada Soccer)

MONTREAL - The Montreal Impact announced Thursday the transfer midfielder Ballou Tabla to Spain's FC Barcelona for an undisclosed fee.

It is the first-ever transfer of an Impact youth academy product to a European club.

"This first transfer is an important moment in the history and evolution of our club," said Montreal Impact president Joey Saputo. "We take a lot of pride in seeing a young player, developed in our Academy, climb the ladder all the way to the first team and realize his dream to play in Europe with a big club like Barcelona."

Last year, in his only Major League Soccer campaign, Tabla scored two goals in 21 outings. On March 4, 2017, at the San Jose Earthquakes, he became the youngest player in the Impact's history to take part in a MLS game at 17 years and 338 days.

Tabla, who scored one goal in five games for Canada in the 2015 CONCACAF Under-17 Championship, joined the Montreal Impact Academy for the first time in August 2012, before leaving in December 2013. He then rejoined the Impact U18 in April 2015, and played with FC Montreal (USL) the following season, in 2016.