The new reality for Barcelona is that the coffers are bone-dry.
After spending record sums on Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho, and Antoine Griezmann, signing Eric Garcia and Memphis Depay should have been easy.
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We’re talking about players whose contracts are running out, and clubs reading and willing to strike a fair deal.
Both players wanted to come to Barcelona. The stars were aligned as a center defender and striker are two high need positions that manager Ronald Koeman has requested reinforcements for.
Like many clubs around the world, the pandemic has thrown finances for a loop. And let’s face it, Barcelona wasn’t the only inactive club on deadline day.
Unlike other clubs, Barcelona has compounded their problems by digging themselves into a massive hole with a pattern of fiscal mismanagement the past few years. The Blaugranes completely inflated the market. Now the chickens are coming home to roost. They will never recoup those investments.
But they can cut their losses.
In fact, there’s still time to maximize their investments to the fullest extent possible.
Just because one overpays for a house doesn’t mean that it’s not a great house.
Coutinho is already showing signs of a big rebound. If so, you’re going to see his value skyrocket. But when it comes to value we shouldn’t be talking about what Barcelona may be able to sell him for in the future. We should be talking about what he can contribute on the field. That’s where you’re going to get the biggest return on the investment.
I for one am glad to see Dembele stay. Now Koeman needs to play him and show that he can do with the Frenchman what he has already done for the Brazilian. Dembele was the only player capable of breaking down Sevilla over the weekend, but instead of using him Koeman foolishly had him ride the bench while inexperienced and unproven Francisco Trincao and Pedri offered nothing special.
And Griezmann should be the easiest player of all to fix. The problem has never been Griezmann. As the French national team coach Didier Deschamps said, Barcelona is ruining the player because they continue to play him in a terrible position. Get him off the wing and into the heart of the field, even if it means that Messi won’t get his way. In addition, if you make this move then you don’t need a new number 9 after all, Griezmann is the guy.
These three players could be the future of the team. It definitely isn’t Messi.
Finally, why was Barcelona so desperate to desperate to sign a center defender without giving Todibo a chance? At Shalke, he was quite good. Nobody is saying that Todibo will get the job outright, but having him there to compete with Pique, Lenglet, Umititti, and Araujo, gives you plenty of solid options. Now he’s on a cheap loan to Benfica. Barcelona could have really used him.
Barcelona has plenty of talent on the roster now. Please don’t forget about Riqui Puig by the way!
The question is what Koeman plans to do with it. The game against Sevilla was alarming. That should be all the Dutchman needs to make some adjustments and start playing the world class players that the club has invested in. And don’t just play them, prioritize them. Set them up for success.
No excuses, Barcelona has assets other clubs would die for. Time to unleash their potential.