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Strangely, Barcelona Isn’t Really Missing 325 Million Worth of Talent

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Barça are doing just fine without Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembélé

FC Barcelona v Celta de Vigo - Spanish Copa del Rey Photo by Laurens Lindhout/Soccrates/Getty Images

FC Barcelona defeated Real Sociedad 4-2, but the bad news is that Ousmane Dembélé is injured again. The Frenchman missed the majority of the first half of the season due to injury, and he’s out for a month again.

Meanwhile, Philippe Coutinho is still a few weeks from coming back. He was signed this year from Liverpool, completing a protracted saga. When he does finally come back, he’ll be unable to play in the UEFA Champions League.

Between the two, they’ve combined for 143 minutes of action in La Liga - all from Dembélé of course. And Barcelona are still unbeaten - the only team in the top 5 leagues in that situation.

Barcelona spent 225 million euro on the pair, plus an additional 80 million to come from add ons. That’s over 300 million on the treatment table, and almost entirely missing from action entirely this season. And yet Barcelona are winning and winning and winning.

It’d be daft to suggest Barcelona are better off without the pair. They’re both amazing players, and both still young. They will likely have a huge impact on the club in the long term. But in the short term the situation is what it is. Ernesto Valverde deserves massive credit for getting the most out of the players at his disposal.