Big names that failed to impress for Barcelona
In the last few years FC Barcelona has signed players that they should not have signed or players that are too old. Players like Ibrahimovic, Coutinho, Dembele and Paulinho are a few big names who failed to live up to their potential while playing for Barcelona. Coutinho played for Barcelona for three and a half seasons.
How Coutinho failed to live upto his £145 million price
He had helped Liverpool come in 2nd place in 2014. He also made PFA Team of the Year. To add to all of this he helped Liverpool secure a place in the Champions League after two seasons. The Brazilian playmaker came to Barcelona with a point to prove. After all he was so successful with Liverpool and played very well for the Reds. However that was not to be when he came to Barcelona. He scored only 26 goals and made 13 in 106 appearances.
Whereas with Liverpool in 201 appearances he made 97 goal contributions. To show how bad his form was he was loaned out twice both to Bayern and Aston Villa. Considering he was bought for £145 million he did not live up to his price tag.
The main reason for Coutinho’s failure is he plays as a main playmaker which was what he did at Liverpool. However that position was at Barcelona was already filled by Lionel Messi.
Poor Dembele form and injuries
Another poor signing was Ibrahimovic who only lasted one season before being sold to Milan. Dembele was another player that proved Barcelona don’t make good signings as he scored 32 goals in 150 games.
Dembele has also missed a staggering 119 games due to injury. He was also bought from Dortmund for €105 million euros.Another problem Barcelona have is their over reliance on aging players.
Over reliance on aging players
Barcelona relied solely on the likes of Messi, Suarez and Alba to get them by the last few seasons. If it was not for the Argentine especially Barcelona would not have won any La Liga’s or Copa’s in the past few seasons as his goals helped them win matches. Barcelona should have sold Messi three seasons ago so that they can practice building the team around young players. Signing Aubameyang also showed how much they rely on old players. The problem with relying on old players is they can only produce results for a few seasons. Lewandowski is another poor signing Barcelona made. Although Lewandowski scored 50 goals in 46 matches, won 8 bundesliga’s and a Champions League he turning 34 and does not have many years ahead. Barcelona also have an issue of signing players they do not need.
Selection headache for Xavi
Although Lewandowski, Raphinha, Kessie, Christensen are all good players they already have players who occupy their positions. For example Christensen is a center back and Barcelona already have Pique, Araujo and Mingueza who play in the position. Raphinha is a good signing however Dembele extended his contract and plays in the exact same position as Dembele. Kessie is a center midfielder and his position is already played by Gavi, Busquets, Nico and Pedri. Lastly Lewandowski is a striker and Aubameyang already plays his position. Squad depth is important and Barcelona’s Xavi is going to have to make a big decision on who makes the starting lineup. For example Barcelona will have to decide who leads the attacking line as they have Aubameyang and Lewandowski who are both strikers. We may also see either Raphinha or Dembele on the bench another key player set to miss out.
Focus must shift to younger players
To conclude Barcelona has proved over the years that they cannot sign the right players. Barcelona either sign players that have roles already occupied or they sign players that are too old. If Barcelona are to compete for trophies like before they are going to have to completely change their approach. Barcelona have a lot of young talented players like Ferran, Puig, Fati, Mingueza, Balde, Araujo, Pedri, Gavi, Nico, Collado and many La Masia players. These are all promising players and need to be utilized to their full potential. Due to Barcelona’s poor signings during the transfer window a lot of young promising players will miss out. The approach a club like Barcelona should take is they should build their team around these young players. Even if these young players may struggle for a few seasons if they continue to get better they will get results.