It was quite the Deadline Day in the end for Barcelona, with some very interesting incoming and outgoing signings.
Xavi had been crystal clear from the very beginning of the window that he considered João Cancelo to be a priority signing for him and so to that end, the coach has to be happy.
For the player, the pressure is on him from the get go. He’s perfectly capable of being the right-back that everyone knows he can be, he just needs to deliver.
Another João, Félix, has found a home with the Blaugranes too.
There’s no doubting his quality, but Atlético Madrid don’t want him, Chelsea weren’t interested in having him back either, so you have to ask yourself what the problem is.
Barça certainly don’t need a diva upsetting the equilibrium ahead of the start of the Champions League.
On the face of it, however, it’s a stunning loan capture.
Two big-name incoming signings in the last knockings of the window is as good as it gets, and if they both settle in well, they strengthen the squad immeasurably.
Of the four players leaving the club this summer, the hardest to digest is Ansu Fati.
He isn’t in the best of form it’s true, and some time out of the limelight might do him good, but he’s still a brilliant player who, at just 20, still has the world at his feet. If he shines, as expected, at Brighton, they’ll be queuing up to take him next season.
Loaning Eric García and Clément Lenglet to Girona and Aston Villa respectively does Xavi a massive favour.
There’s a clear overbooking at the back at present, and even with injuries García and Lenglet would’ve found it hard to get some decent minutes this season. A switch means both get the match time they deserve, and Barça have them off the wage bill for 12 months.
Ez Abde’s move to Real Betis is understandable but still leaves a bit of a sour taste.
He’s clearly a rough diamond that needs polishing, and could arguably have done a job for Barça in the current season.
Selling him now with a 50 per cent sell-on clause makes sense from a business point of view, but it would’ve been nice to have seen more of Abde’s dynamism at least in the first half of the 2023/24 campaign before making a decision.
Overall, it’s been a great window and Deadline Day for the club, with Barça’s financial situation still dictating just what can and can’t be done for now.
Against that backdrop, Culers should be delighted with the new signings.