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Transfer Window: Initial Reaction (Arrivals)

A look at what the transfer window brought in for Barça

FC Barcelona v Sampdoria: Joan Gamper Trophy Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

What a summer it has been!

With the transfer of Paco Alcácer, it is pretty safe to say that Barça has finally acquired the final piece of the jigsaw, that will give us a look into the complete picture of what this squad was meant to look like, by the end of the transfer window.

With some gaping holes in the squad and enough deadwood to build a boat, Barça was looking at an incredibly long summer. While the start to the summer was slow, what Robert Fernández and Albert Soler have managed to do to this squad, has been nothing short of a miracle- they did their business rather discreetly, and acquired players who fit the roles and needs of the squad perfectly.

Incoming Transfers:

Denis Suárez (22/CAM):

The man who was tipped to be the first signing of the summer, ended up being just that. Having played for Villareal as a wide midfielder, Denis impressed Luis Enrique enough to be back on his radar. Capable of operating in any of the wide roles, or as a 10, Denis is a dribbler with pace to burn, and an eye for that acute pass, which can break defences. His excellence at taking set-pieces, combined with his ability to work hard and track back makes his buy a good one. However, Denis was brought in to provide depth in central midfield, and his ability to play deep has been questioned on multiple occasions, which is something to keep track of, as the season progresses.

  • Transfer fee: €3.25 mill. (Villareal CF)
  • Contract till: 30.06.2020

Samuel Umtiti (22/CB):

The dominating Frenchman, who had been a crucial player in the resurgence of Olympique Lyon, was the second player to arrive to the Camp Nou. Operating as a leader on the left side of the central defence, Umtiti is everything you need from a "Barça centre-back"; his pace, combined with exceptional positional sense, makes him the ideal partner to Gerard Piqué. Umtiti brings aerial prowess, strength, and finesse in a rare combination that the Camp Nou hasn't witnessed since the departure of Eric Abidal. Capable of passing from the back, Umtiti adds an extra dimension to his game, which really makes him the complete package. The only thing that this young man needs to cement his place in the Blaugrana back-line, is time.

  • Transfer fee: €25 mill. (Olympique Lyon)
  • Contract till: 30.06.2021

Lucas Digne (23/LB):

Probably the most covert signing of the summer, Digne arrives to Catalonia after an incredible season with Roma. While Lucas has decent pace, he isn't a speedster, la Jordi Alba. However, his ability to read play, and anticipate when he can move forward and attack, is crucial in making him a good fullback. Offering unusual aerial prowess for someone of his physical stature, he is also an excellent crosser of the ball. Despite having the potential to be a starter, Digne is still an unfinished product and for now, his role would be to keep Jordi Alba on his toes; looking at Alba's remarkable recovery from his slump last season, I'd say Digne is doing his job to the tee.

  • Transfer fee: €16.5 mill. (Paris Saint-Germain)
  • Contract till: 30.06.2021

André Gomes (23/CM):

Probably one of the biggest signings of the summer, Andre Gomes was signed from Valencia, in the final hour of his move to our eternal rivals. While the initial response to his signing was very critical, his desire to play in the Blaugrana, and his ability on the ball have endeared him to the fans rather quickly. Capable of operating in various roles across the midfield, the Portuguese is a potentially world-class player. He brings great vision combined with a flair that is reminiscent of Zinadine Zidane. A physical specimen, Gomes is the ideal combination of intelligence, strength, and technical ability. While his buy is more of a luxury than a necessity, it wouldn't be out of reach to say that he could be the man that runs the Barça midfield for years to come.

  • Transfer fee: €35 mill. (Valencia CF)
  • Contract till: 30.06.2021

Jasper Cillessen (27/GK):

The fifth buy of the summer, is also the most criticised incoming transfer of the season. Having played as the first choice for both Ajax, and the Dutch National Team, Jasper is an experienced keeper. While Cillessen is notorious for not being the best at stopping penalties, he brings the ability to play with his feet, which is essential to Barça's style of play. Looking at how he is expected to provide competition to Ter Stegen, Cillessen is excellent value for money and probably the most Barça-like keeper available in the market today, who would be willing to ride the bench.

  • Transfer fee: €13 mill. (AFC Ajax)
  • Contract till: 30.06.2021

Paco Alcácer (23/CF):

The last incoming transfer of the season, Paco Alcácer is the man that will accept the role of being the back up to the hottest front-line in world football today. After a long, exhausting transfer window (which included just about every name under the sun as a potential signing), the Valencian arrives as the best possible answer to the most difficult question of the summer. Paco is a fast, technical player, who is capable of scoring crucial goals, whilst being adept at setting them up, for his team-mates. What makes him so special, is his mobility, which allows him to pressure defences, on a constant basis. Although it remains to be seen how much playing-time Paco can command, he is a signing that will be instrumental in getting the MSN to operate in top-gear, during the business-end of the season.

  • Transfer fee: €30 mill. (Valencia CF)
  • Contract till: 30.06.2021

For an analysis of the departures, click here.

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