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Goodbye Jeffren: Why I’m also happy to see you leave FC Barcelona

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By now the news of Jeffren's imminent transfer to Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon (SkySports) should have reached every Culé. Ever since his first team debut in 2006, he only managed to feature in 34 games for FC Barcelona. Not exactly the kind of total he had hoped for. Although he has been a mainstay in FC Barcelona’s first team squad for a couple of seasons now, he never really had a breakout season like his former Barcelona B teammate, Pedro. Like Bojan he possesses undoubted talent and potential but like the new AS Rome forward, he is stubborn. There was just no way for Jeffren to impose himself in the starting XI of FC Barcelona, even more so since the arrival of Alexis Sanchez. He’s about the same age as Sanchez but, for better or worse, doesn’t come with a huge price-tag. The massive transfer fee for the ex-Udinese player alone almost guarantees the Chilean international precious game time. And to add insult to injury, Alexis Sanchez and Jeffren are similar players. Both rely on pace and technique. Although one has to admit that Sanchez seems a bit more robust than the fragile Jeffren.

Perhaps the La Masia graduate should’ve tried his luck with a low(er) profile team before aiming to triumph in Barcelona. Not everyone can follow the footsteps of Carles Puyol, Xavi, Iniesta or more recently Pedro. At one point even Cesc Fabregas felt it was better for his development to join another team. Nevertheless as one of our community members has correctly observed, FC Barcelona are keen to avoid another Cesc-scenario.

Jeffren’s transfer to Sporting Lisbon will most likely include a buy-back clause which allows FC Barcelona to reacquire his services at a reasonable price. Just like they did with Bojan and will do with Oriol Romeu who is poised to leave FC Barcelona for Chelsea FC (The Guardian). However, Jeffren got lucky this time around. A couple of weeks ago he was linked with a transfer to English Premier League side Bolton Wanderers and was rumored to have been offered as a makeweight in the Sanchez transfer, which he categorically refused. While it is admirable to harbor the ambition to succeed with his boyhood club, one must also realize when it’s time to go. After all we are talking about of the best sides in world football, perhaps of all-time. This is not a suggestion that Jeffren is not a fine player, he is. But he needs regular playing time and from the outset it was obvious that he wouldn’t have that breakout season, at least not with FC Barcelona. Who knows what the future holds for him. For now we just wish him the best of luck and perhaps he will finally showcase the potential that made him a FC Barcelona in the first place. At any rate, he has already won all available club trophies at club level.

What’s left to say, two down and one left. Let’s hope FC Barcelona can get rid of Gabriel Milito too. Unlike Bojan, Jeffren or Oriol Romeu, the Argentine international has absolutely no future with FC Barcelona. Yeah, I’ve said it. No future whatsoever. Why Pep Guardiola, or FC Barcelona as a whole is holding onto his questionable services is beyond me. Let him go – on a free if that’s his wish. Rafa Marquez was granted a free transfer and he still had something to offer, which cannot be said of Gabriel Milito. Please send Andreu Fontas packing too and promote Marc Muniesa.

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