This summer’s transfer window, perhaps more than any other in Barcelona’s recent history, is likely to be one of their most important.
Even before it opens, Joan Laporta will have to demonstrate to Lionel Messi that he will have the means to back up his statements that the No.10 will be provided with a competitive team.
On this occasion, whoever is acquired has to be bang on the money from the get-go, whilst there needs to be a ruthless approach taken to those players who need to leave in order to make way for new signings.
It seems abundantly clear at this stage that Laporta wants to bring in Erling Haaland, and there won’t be too many that would argue with the choice, as long as, financially at least, it’s a deal that can be done without breaking the bank.
So which players should be making way?
In many ways it’s a shame that the Frenchman finds himself on this list.
His work ethic is as good as anyone’s in the side, and his skill set isn’t in doubt. He was just never the right fit for the club.
He’s shown in flashes this season what he is capable of, but for a €100m+ player, brief glimpses of his talent just isn’t good enough.
Griezmann could still command a decent fee and Barca will save a bundle on wages.
Whatever Big Sam had, he’s lost.
Though he was never the quickest, he could cover the ground reasonably speedily, but his lack of pace nowadays has been shown up each time Ronald Koeman has given him opportunities.
A colossus when signed, Umtiti has been bullied off of the ball, outmuscled...
The emergence of Ronald Araujo and Oscar Mingueza to complement Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet means that there’s no place for Umtiti.
He’s refused to leave before now but Laporta can’t allow him that luxury this time. It needs to be made clear that he has no future at the club.
Just like Griezmann, Philippe Coutinho has been a square peg in a round hole at the Camp Nou.
An initial flurry aside, the Brazilian has failed to adapt to Barcelona’s style of play and, as their most expensive ever signing, his hire can only ever be seen as an absolute failure in every respect.
Even at his ‘best’ for the club, his play was far too predictable. Cutting inside and bending a shot into the far corner is a great weapon to have, but it can’t be the only weapon.
Barcelona will be lucky if they get a quarter of what they paid for Coutinho, but the saving of wages will be significant.
Of all on this list, the Dane should be sent on his way with everyone’s best wishes.
He’s never let anyone down in his time at the club, has always given his best and worked his hardest to improve.
Frankly, he’s done everything asked of him and more, but if Haaland is to arrive, there simply won’t be a place in the squad for Braithwaite.
One of the worst signings in recent Barcelona history.
It’s clear to everyone now that the only reason he was signed in the swap deal with Arthur Melo was to help cover Bartomeu’s ass.
Has contributed nothing. Zilch. Nada.
Sergio Busquets hasn’t has his best season either, but a poor Busi is still a cut above Pjanic.