The most exciting aspect of any summer activity, is when the club officially announces a new signing- the joy and optimism that new faces bring, adds competition, and a sense of expectation to that which already exists in the locker room; new signings bring hope. However, it is equally important to assess that which you already have, and make the necessary changes in order to trim, optimise and improve the efficiency of the squad at hand.
While Barça had an excellent transfer window with respect to the players that they acquired, they did an equally impressive job of getting rid of some of the players, whose contribution wasn’t on par with the rest. While some of the names that performed were let go for the greater good of the club, the club did a fairly decent job of handling their destinations, which takes away any bitterness that might be felt from such separations.
Dani Alves (33/RB):
Alves’ departure broke every Culé’s heart. After 8 illustrious years at the club, Alves decided to leave for a new challenge, and found it in Barça’s European rivals Juventus. While it makes me uneasy to watch Alves in anything but the Blaugrana, what really makes his departure even more unappealing, is the fact that the club has decided to place it’s faith in two unproven, make-shift right-backs, which could spell disaster, if the experiment doesn’t pan out. Alves however, made the right move, in moving to a slower, more tactical league like Serie A, where he can potentially prolong his career, while still competing at the highest level.
- Transfer fee: Nil (Juventus FC)
Claudio Bravo (33/GK):
Having to leave the club, due to the imminent rise of Ter Stegen, Claudio Bravo remains dear to the Blaugrana. His performances were some of the best in the club’s recent history, and it has been a pleasure, watching the commanding Chilean represent the Barça colours, with the zeal of a true captain. Fortunately, the club did well in allowing Bravo, to move to former Barça manager Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. A natural fit in Pep’s demanding system, Bravo should slot right in.
- Transfer fee: €18 mill. (Manchester City)
Marc Bartra (25/CB):
At 25 years of age, there was little Marc could do, to gain the trust of his coach, and he was old enough to stop being a high-potential young back-up. While the departure of the former academy player was gut-wrenching, most fans would be pleased to see that the man is enjoying his football as a starter, for one of the most exciting teams on the planet- Borussia Dortmund. Replacing Mats Hummels, Bartra gets to be a part of the adventurous project that Dortmund have been creating, under the tutelage of Thomas Tuchel.
- Transfer fee: €8 mill. (Borussia Dortmund)
Munir el Haddadi (20/CF):
A transfer that has unusually split the fan-base, is Munir el Haddadi’s move to Valencia. While some feel that it was a necessary move in order to facilitate the transfer of Barça’s latest fourth forward Paco Alcácer, others feel that Munir is the unceremonious scape-goat in the grand scheme of things. While Munir has merely departed on a loan, with the arrival of Paco, his chances of earning a spot in the Barça XI have drastically reduced, despite showing significant progress. Munir joins a young team with competition that he can stave off, but the lingering thought that perhaps the young academy graduate has been short-changed, is hard to shake-off.
- Transfer fee: Loan (Valencia CF)
Alen Halilovic (20/AM):
Another young player to have departed the club, is Croatian prodigy Alen Halilovic who moves to Hamburger in a permanent transfer, with Barça retaining the option to buy back. Despite the player’s move being permanent, few would doubt his return. Having left the club in search of greater playing time, Alen has the opportunity to impress his former coach, in a bid to don the Blaugrana once more, and Hamburger is the perfect setting.
- Transfer fee: €5 mill. (Hamburger SV)
Sergi Samper (21/DM):
Another academy graduate to depart from the club’s ranks is Sergi Samper who moved to Granada last week, in order to get more playing time and impress the coach. Playing under Paco Jemez ensures that Samper will continue playing an attacking brand of football, similar to the kind played at the Camp Nou. Having already made an instant impact, this move will go a long way in earning the trust of Luis Enrique, and shaping Samper’s future at Barça.
- Transfer fee: Loan (Granada CF)
Martin Montoya (25/RB):
A player who was once touted to replace the legendary Dani Alves, unfortunately fizzled out due to a lack of playing-time. Having made a decent impact at Betis, Montoya would go on to gain the attention of Valencia, who ended up getting the player for a free transfer, due to the good relationship that the two clubs share. Like Munir, Montoya goes to a team, where he can stave off competition, while competing at the highest level, which adds some shine to his lacklustre career.
- Transfer fee: Nil (Valencia CF)
The move to Besiktas, couldn’t come at a more opportune time for Adriano, who went from being an asset that could operate in multiple roles, to a liability who was a risk every time he played, in the span of half a season. While the move to retain Adriano was the right choice in Luis Enrique’s first two seasons considering the transfer ban, it was high time that the Brazilian found a team, where he could be of significant impact.
- Transfer fee: €600 th. (Besiktas JK)
Sandro Ramírez (20/CF):
Having been promoted alongside Munir el Haddadi, Sandro Ramirez struggled to gain minutes, with his peer climbing up the pecking order. Allowing Sandro to leave on a free transfer, due to the goodwill he earned by not moving during the ban, was a nice gesture from the club, in a move that benefited all parties.
- Transfer fee: Nil (Malaga CF)
Cristian Tello (25/RW):
Departing for his loan spell at Fiorentina, Tello will make another attempt at proving to Paulo Sousa, that he is the man that the Portuguese wants. Despite liking the player, Sousa refused to pay the asking price set by Barcelona, which has led to the clubs’ agreement to continue their existing arrangement.
- Transfer fee: Loan €500 th. (ACF Fiorentina)
Alex Song (28/DM):
Moving to Rubin Kazan, Song puts a lot of Barcelona fans at peace, by finally getting off the club’s wage bill for good. Song was never needed in the first place, and the club and it’s fans will be happy to see the back-end of Systeme Tchakap.
- Transfer fee: Nil (Rubin Kazan)
Thomas Vermaelen (30/CB):
Moving to Roma, the injury prone CB will do his best to impress his new manager, that he is still one of the best CBs in the world, when fit. Fortunately, it isn’t at the expense of our sporting project.
- Transfer fee: Loan (AS Roma)
It’s true. Miracles are real. All hail Robert Fernandez and Albert Soler. Thank you Abelardo - you’re a good friend indeed.
- Transfer fee: Loan (Sporting Gijon)