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Analyzing The Players Barcelona Have Bought This Summer

David Ramos

FC Barcelona have been Europe’s top spenders this summer, despite facing a transfer ban that was only temporarily suspended after the Catalan club lodged an appeal.

Moreover, having already splurged €160 million (£127 million) on six new faces, sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta has not ruled out more signings if the "opportunity arises", while maintaining that the club is "satisfied" with the current squad.

We analyse and rate the players that have joined the former La Liga champions for the upcoming term.

Claudio Bravo (Real Sociedad)

Transfer Fee: Initial fee of €9 million, rising up to €12 million (as per Goal)

Claudio Bravo became the second Chilean, yet the sixth South American goalkeeper to join Barcelona after he agreed a transfer to The Nou Camp in June.

Having spent eight years at the San Sebastian, Bravo is well-versed to the Spanish game and the native language. So, it is understandable that Barcelona decided to spend so much money on Bravo after having signed Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who is yet to play club football outside Germany.

In addition, Bravo’s playing style complements Barcelona, with England manager Roy Hodgson describing the 31-year-old’s demonstration of footwork and passing the "best he has ever seen from a keeper".

Bravo has been Chile’s captain for six years and his leadership could come in handy. He was promised first-team opportunities by Barcelona before the transfer but there is a general consensus that ter Stegen will eventually take over the No 1 tag at the club- he is younger, more talented and continually rotating ‘keepers could lead to an unstable defence.

Rating: 6/10- Barcelona could have put faith in Jordi Masip to provide competition to ter Stegen or could have looked at other options in the market. Bravo is prone to occasional blunders despite being an excellent shot-stopper.

Appearances (league only)

Clean Sheets

Passing Rate

Saves per goal

Transfer fee






€12 million






€10 million






€7.5 million






€2.5 million

Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Borussia Monchengladbach)

Transfer Fee: €12 million

Ter Stegen is rated as one of the finest Germans on the planet at present.

Germany legend Sepp Maier feels that he is "already on par with Nuer" but the former Schalke man has "distinguished himself internationally" by playing for Bayern Munich.

"[When Gladbach were struggling] he performed masterfully," Oliver Kahn said (via Goal). "That is not normal, especially in a situation with that much pressure. That was the first time I noticed him."

Ter Stegen was the best possible replacement for Victor Valdes available in the transfer market. The 21-year-old conceded only 24 goals in 35 matches last season and kept 12 clean sheets.

He is comfortable with Barcelona’s style of play and has already learned the local language. Lack of experience could be a worry, considering he is yet to play out of Germany and ter Stegen may also miss the start of the season after suffering a lumbar contusion in training on Monday.

Rating: 8/10- Ter Stegen is a once-in-a-generation player. Great investment by Barcelona.

Ivan Rakitic (Sevilla)

Transfer Fee: €18 million (as per

Cesc Fabregas was sold to Chelsea in the summer and to replace the Spaniard, Barcelona raided Sevilla for the services of Croatia international Ivan Rakitic.

An all-round midfielder, Rakitic played an advanced role under Unai Emery last season and contributed 10 goals and 12 assists in league play- becoming one of the only 15 players to reach double digits in those two segments.

The 26-year-old is fast, agile and an industrious midfielder. He likes playing with a "lot of intensity" and defends well, unlike Fabregas, who lacked pace and defensive awareness.

He might not be a flashy signing, but Luis Enrique wanted Rakitic at Barcelona and the new gaffer has a "vision" in which the Croat plays an "important" role.



Key Passes per-game

Tackles per-game

Interceptions per-game

Passing Rate















Rating: 8.5/10- Barcelona were crying out for some fresh legs in midfield- someone who could add pace and creativity and harass the opposition in the middle of the park. In Rakitic, they got the best possible personnel.

Jeremy Mathieu (Valencia)

Transfer Fee: €20 million

Jeremy Mathieu will turn 31 on October 29 and he is the most expensive defender in the history of football, aged 30 or above.

He is "old" and it is widely felt that Barcelona overpaid for the Frenchman. But after Paris-Saint Germain paid €63 million for an error-prone David Luiz, the transfer market for central defenders has inflated, with English champions Manchester City reportedly paying €54 million for the inexperienced Eliaquim Mangala a testimony to the claim.

Barcelona had not signed a natural central-defender since 2009, after they bought Dmytro Chygrynskiy from Shakhtar Donetsk. However, this time, the board promised to give the new manager four centre-backs for the upcoming term.

The aim was to bring in Mathieu and Marquinhos (as said by my fellow writer Xoel Cardenas) - basically one proven La Liga defender who could quickly integrate into the squad, and a young promising star who could become a regular starter in a couple of seasons.

Mathieu fits the former category and if we leave aside his age, the France international is an admirably proven and consistent defender. He has pace to burn and is a good reader of the game. Mathiue has five years of La Liga experience and European pedigree as well. Having played as a left-back for majority of his career, Mathieu can play as the left-sided central-defender in Enrique’s proposed formation of 3-2-3-2.

Obviously, not the best choice, but Barcelona could have done a lot worse.

Rating: 7.5/10

Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal)

Transfer Fee: €10 million initial fee, plus €5 million in add-ons and a further €4 million if Barcelona win the Champions League.

When reporters asked Arsene Wenger on the prospect of losing Thomas Vermaelen, the Frenchman wasn’t concerned.

"It could happen," Wenger said last Friday. "I've said since the start of pre-season that Thomas could leave us because he needs to play now."

Vermaelen is a talented ball-playing defender but he lost his place in Arsenal’s starting XI last year due to continual injury problems and lack of form. Despite going through a two-part medical, fitness still appears to be an issue for Vermaelen as one day after completing his signing, Barcelona announced that the Belgian continues to suffer from a hamstring injury that brought his World Cup journey to an abrupt end.

PSG were not letting go off Marquinhos by any chance and Vermaelen was the alternative.

Rating: 6/10-  If he remains fit and is able to play consistently week-in-week-out or whenever called upon, Barcelona have a great defender at their disposal. But at 29, his body is made of glass and this transfer is a risky investment by Zubizarreta and co.

Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

Transfer Fee: €94 million (as per the BBC)

Despite facing a four-month ban for biting Juventus’ Giorgio Chiellini in a World Cup match, Luis Suarez managed to fetch the highest fee in the transfer market this summer.

It’s too early to say how Luis Enrique will fit Suarez, Messi and Neymar in the same starting XI. There are doubts regarding as to how Suarez will adapt to Barcelona’s style and how he will react if told to play second fiddle to Messi.

Nonetheless, Suarez and Rakitic will add the much-required prowess and directness to Barcelona’s system. Much has been said that Barcelona might abandon their famed tiki-taka. However, it needs to be noted, Enrique is obsessed with possession-play and high-pressing and Barcelona’s new signings are technical enough to continue the Catalans’ philosophy. They’ll simply add more aggressiveness and intensity.

Rating: 10/10- Suarez is arguably the best striker in the world. He will be a magnificent signing for any club, even if not necessarily needed.

Statistics courtesy of and Squawka

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