Let’s put the coronavirus excuse to one side for a moment shall we? That’s a convenient little get out for this argument.
The two most expensive acquisitions in Barcelona’s history, Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele, can’t even be given away it seems.
Add Samuel Umtiti into the mix, and there’s legitimately £300m+ worth of talent there that no one apparently wants to take a chance on.
Two World Cup winners less than two years ago, and one Brazilian who we were cock-a-hoop about securing have had a barely believable fall from grace.
Coutinho’s form after arriving was passable without being great, but maybe he should be given the benefit of the doubt because of being played out of position for the most part.
Equally, there is a cogent argument that someone of his evident ability should be able to adapt to positional changes and/or a new system.
He didn’t set the transfer fee so arguably that shouldn’t be used as a stick to beat him with either.
A player’s ‘worth’ being dictated by the transfer fee paid for them is a dangerous road to go down.
Plenty of footballers have sold for an amount well in excess of their true value purely because the selling club have played hard ball.
That said, the French wide man could and probably should’ve done much more in the time he’s been free of injury for the Blaugranes.
Perhaps the club’s medical department need to turn the mirror on themselves too.
Surely these incessant injury concerns, particularly relating to his hamstrings, could’ve been foreseen?
Umtiti has struggled badly since his injury, and his decision to go it alone in terms of seeking treatment has also been used against him when supporters have been looking to apportion blame.
A colossus before the knee concern, he just isn’t the same player as he was, and of the three, is likely to be the most difficult to shift.
Reading elsewhere that there are no takers for Dembele at a preposterous £42m is concerning, and though there has been interest in Coutinho, none of it has led to a firm offer, loan wise or permanently.
All of which begs the question... do they deserve another chance at the Camp Nou?
Bartomeu and Co want some players out because of their lack of business nous and a need to balance the books, but is a Barca replete with Coutinho, Dembele and Umtiti, stronger than a squad without them?
What would you do?