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Let the Barcelona clear out begin

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A disappointing end to the season

SD Eibar v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

The match at Ipurua on Sunday evening went exactly as most would’ve expected.

No Messi and no Pedri meant no inventiveness and no cutting edge, but in truth, no one really cared about a last game of the season that meant precisely nothing to either side.

Barcelona certainly could’ve done without seeing Ilaix Moriba limp off, injury ending his season prematurely, though at least he’s assured of being back in the line-up for the start of next season.

The same can’t be said for a number of other first-team stars, some of whom did themselves no favours whatsoever at Eibar.

SD Eibar v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Cristian Trujillo/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Personal pride should dictate that players such as Francisco Trincao and Junior Firpo are giving their absolute best when handed the chance, but all they proved again was that they are not, and never were, Barca quality.

The pair have to be followed sharply out of the door by Miralem Pjanic too.

Surely part of the worst swap deal in football history, even if Arthur Melo hasn’t exactly ripped it up at Juventus.

Given that Joan Laporta needs to reduce the wage bill considerably, and bring in decent funds, the notion of one big-name player leaving can’t be discounted either.

SD Eibar v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Cristian Trujillo/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Antoine Griezmann has certainly had his critics across the season, and this author has been one of them, however, Barca can always rely on the Frenchman’s diligence and work-rate as well as his goals.

His spectacular effort deserved to win any match, in a game that wasn’t his best in a Barca shirt. He does offer that bit extra though, so when Laporta is crunching the numbers, Griezmann’s countryman, Ousmane Dembele, needs to be very wary of what’s coming next.

Yes, he set up the winner, but that was more by luck than judgement.

The wide man showed once again that he’s brilliant at putting on the after burners and gliding past opponents as if they weren’t there, but being decisive when the need arises... not so much.

SD Eibar v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Cristian Trujillo/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

There have been far too many chances for a player who cost north of €100m to master the basics - and he still hasn’t.

Maybe both Dembele and Griezmann will go if the right offers come in, and we can be assured that it’ll be another rollercoaster of a summer for the Catalans given Laporta’s pronouncements earlier in the week.

The new president does need to think carefully about pushing out a player who was the second highest scorer behind Messi though, and the only other Barca player to reach double figures in goals including some vital strikes across the campaign.

Certainly, the decisions Laporta makes over the next few weeks will be amongst the most important of either of his presidential terms.