As Barcelona have successfully kicked off the new La Liga campaign with a superb showing against Real Betis, the transfer rumors surrounding the club are still the topic dominating most Barcelona fans’ minds.
One day Philippe Coutinho is agreeing to terms and Liverpool are ready to accept a bid, the next day the opposite comes to be true. Here’s a case for what Barcelona should do…absolutely nothing.
Over the past couple of years, there have been several players transferred from clubs for fees that seem impossible, astronomical prices, even for the global sport of football. Narrowing in on two different strategies after selling an instrumental player for a huge price are the examples of Gareth Bale and Paul Pogba.
When Tottenham decided to sell Bale to Real Madrid, the club’s transfer strategy was to take the huge sum of money and reinvest it by trying to acquire several players.
The summer that they sold Bale, Spurs bought seven players: Paulinho, Nacer Chadli, Etienne Capoue, Christian Eriksen, Érik Lamela, Roberto Soldado, and Vlad Chiriches for a total of £103m.
There was no clear star in that group and the transfer fee for each player being under £26m. From those seven players, only two remain in the first team squad, Eriksen and Lamela.
While Lamela has shown moments of quality, Eriksen is the only player bought in that year who has provided consistent performances and is an integral part of Tottenham’s starting squad.
In essence, Tottenham tried replacing one star by buying several players, who could potentially improve the squad. Obviously, this method did not work as only one of the seven players have made a lasting impact and Spurs finished sixth that year.
On the other hand, after selling Paul Pogba, Juventus also brought in seven players that summer… but, spent a large part of the fee on one main striker, Gonzalo Higuain.
The year after selling Pogba, Juventus went on to win Serie A and the Coppa Italia, before finishing runners up in the Champions League. Ultimately, the season was an extreme success and a large part of that can be attributed to Higuain.
Now, what does Barcelona do after seeing those two separate transfer strategies play out? Their transfer policy seems to be all over the place this summer. On one hand, they seem to be going for one big star, similar to Juventus, with either Coutinho or Ousmane Dembélé.
On the other hand, having already shelled out 40m euros on Paulinho, they are now being consistently linked to Jean Michael Seri, a player who has quality but is not completely proven at the highest level.
Because of this, Barcelona might be wise to sit back and not do anything. While the squad is certainly going to miss Neymar’s creativity, the team’s midfield is still strong in talent and depth (Busquets, Rakitić, Iniesta, Roberto, Gomes, Suarez, and even Paulinho), a defence improved from last year (Semedo’s signing, Umtiti’s growing experience, and Vidal’s return), in addition to a forward line that contains Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
In addition, several youth players are waiting to make their first-team break-through. Is there enough talent to challenge for a treble? Probably not. But, if Barcelona have to learn one thing from previous transfer sagas, it is that it is better to be patient and scout one great player who fits into the system instead of panic buying the best players available at the moment.
Our motto, “Més que un club” signifies that players must be ready to not just play each match for their coach, but for the city.
Not rushing into transfer mistakes is key right now and if that means not signing any more players this summer, we can keep our heads high knowing one thing… with Messi, anything is possible.