Barca Blaugranes Awards: Best Signing

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 25: Cesc Fabregas (R) and Alexis Sanchez pose with the trophy after their victory in the Copa del Rey Final match between Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona at Vicente Calderon Stadium on May 25, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

Just like yesterday with the nominees for the Most Improved Player, today’s Barca Blaugranes award category is certain to be a close affair as we vote for the best signing of the season. Now, there might only be two nominees, but it’s hard to distinguish which of the two has been the better buy, especially as both players have had their fair share of good and bad form. There is just one criteria for this award – that the player in question was registered to the senior team, thus ruling out the likes of Rodri and Kiko Femenia who were signed by the club, yet ply their trade for the B team. Without further ado, here are the two nominees!

Just in case you missed them, here's the link to the nominees for the Best Player award, and here is the link for the Most Improved Player award.

Alexis Sanchez

Signing for the club on the 25th of July, Alexis was the first signing of the summer, and at €26 million (albeit with €11 million in unspecified bonuses) he was the cheaper of the two signings. With that and bearing in mind his age, Sanchez was never truly going to set the world alight – at least in his first season with the club. However, as debut seasons go, this was far from average. As the first Chilean to play for FC Barcelona, Sanchez was under pressure to perform from the get go, but so far he has handled the expectations rather well. It was his calm finish that opened the Blaugrana account in La Liga and he also scored the equaliser in what could have a pivotal 3-1 comeback win against Real Madrid in El Clasico. Alexis wasn’t schooled at La Masia, but he has shown on numerous occasions that he fits into the Barcelona style of play with his relentless pressuring, and his admirable defensive work-rate. Above all else, the Chilean is one of football’s brightest talents, but crucially, he remains modest and in countless interviews he has reiterated his desire to learn from those around him to mature as a player. If he can put his injury problems firmly behind him and start to transfer his domestic form to the European stage, then the sky really is the limit.

Season

Games Played

Minutes Played

Goals Scored

Goal Assists

2011/12 - Barcelona

41

2627

15

5

2010/11 - Udinese

33

2523

12

11

Cesc Fàbregas

After the longest "will he, won’t he?" saga in transfer history, the signing of Cesc Fàbregas was completed on the 15th of August and cost the Catalans an initial €34 million (including a reported €5 million from Cesc himself, staggered over each year of his contract) with a further €5 million to be paid in bonuses, making him the third most expensive signing of Guardiola’s reign. With such a huge price-tag, it’s only natural for us to expect greater things from Fàbregas, and also to compare him with other Guardiola signings. For example, as of yet he hasn’t consistently shown that he represents as good value for money as perhaps Dani Alves did, but he has been streets ahead of Dmytro Chygrynskiy and indeed Zlatan Ibrahimovic who cost even more than the former Arsenal captain. Much like Alexis, Cesc has been dogged by injury problems, perhaps due to his lack of a pre-season and maybe even his explosive start to the season where he was a catalyst to almost everything good about the start to Barcelona’s season. Lest we forget it was Cesc who played a key role in the final goal in the Supercopa win which helped stave off the challenge of Real, and it was Cesc who scored in the FIFA Club World Cup final. His form in the latter stages of season has distorted opinion, but there can be no denying that Cesc will be a very important player in the years to come. With a proper pre-season under his belt and under the guidance of his former youth coach Tito Vilanova, will Fàbregas blossom into a guaranteed starter? I can’t wait to find out.

Season

Games Played

Minutes Played

Goals Scored

Goal Assists

2011/12 – Barcelona

48

3315

15

20

2010/11 - Arsenal

36 2543 9 16

NB: All stats courtesy of transfermarkt.co.uk

Be sure to vote for your winner, or via this link if the form has not loaded or you are on a mobile device.

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