The end of the 2020-21 La Liga season is fast approaching and, to be truthful, it can’t come soon enough.
From lows to highs and back to lows again, Barcelona have waded through treacle in some games to absolutely blowing the opposition away in others.
More of the latter is most definitely required, and to that end, Joan Laporta appears to be unequivocal in his desire to be the new broom sweeping clean.
It wasn’t always going to be like that of course.
The swarthy, charismatic Catalan, elected on a wave of optimism despite the challenges he faces, hadn’t indicated during his candidacy for the presidency that he would change things around dramatically.
However, his most recent statement does more than hint at the need for a root and branch clear out.
But what does that look like?
Until recently it appeared that Ronald Koeman had the backing of the new presidential incumbent, and yet it would be absolutely no surprise to see the Dutchman sent packing by the end of this weekend.
With that, it would be right to expect that neither Memphis Depay or Gini Wijnaldum will arrive and, let’s be honest, most culers won’t be too unhappy about that.
Not that either are bad players you understand, just not ‘Barca players.’
A clear out has been suggested, though that will be easier said than done. The likes of Braithwaite, Umtiti, Neto, Firpo, Griezmann, Coutinho, Trincao and more could all do with going.
The issue for Laporta is that they’ll still need to be replaced, and not like-for-like either.
Whomever comes in has to be better suited to those being shipped out otherwise there’s little point in the exercise.
Sergio Aguero is a potential hire and he’s certainly an upgrade on Braithwaite, though supporters can’t really be too hard on the Dane who has always worked hard and given of his best when required. You can’t ask any more than that of a player.
There are legitimate concerns surrounding whether Sergi Roberto is worth keeping and perhaps that question could also be asked of Gerard Pique.
On their day, both are vital cogs in the wheel, but their ‘days’ are becoming few and far between.
Messi has to be kept happy in Laporta’s new Barca, so ultimately that’s likely to mean neither Pique or Roberto go anywhere of course.
Financially, the club can’t afford to take any more hits, but how are decent players supposed to be tempted to come to the club without the carrot of acceptable remuneration.
It’s certainly a risky strategy to be taking and risk does often bring reward, so if the president judges this one correctly, it could hold the club in good stead for years.
Get it wrong, however, and it will push the club even closer to the brink.