The international break puts domestic action on hold for the final time this year and is a good time to take stock of how Barcelona’s loan players have been getting on.
Teams around Europe have played almost a third of their league matches and presented plenty of opportunities for stars to gain some minutes at their new clubs.
Philippe Coutinho, Bayern Munich
The most high-profile of Barcelona’s loanees is Philippe Coutinho who is spending the season in the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich.
Coutinho has started seven of Bayern’s 11 league games, contributing two goals and three assists, and has featured in all of their Champions League matches
However, the German champions have not enjoyed the best of starts and have just sacked manager Niko Kovac and replaced him for the time being with assistant Hansi Flick.
It isn’t clear yet how the change in manager will affect Coutinho, but he has been benched for Flick’s first two games in charge.
The Brazilian came on as as substitute in the 70th minute in the 4-0 win over Dortmund and only got off the bench in stoppage time in their win over Olympiacos that sent them through to the Champions League knockout stages.
After a decent start to life in Germany he has come in for a bit of criticism. Former Bayern midfielder Dietmar Hamann called him “invisible” in the 5-1 thrashing by Eintracht Frankfurt that saw Kovac sacked shortly afterwards.
Rafinha, Celta Vigo
It will surprise absolutely no-one to learn that Rafinha has suffered more injury misery since joining Celta Vigo on loan on deadline day.
The 26-year-old picked up a calf injury in training in September that ruled him out for a couple of weeks, but he has since returned to action for the Galicians.
Celta are another team who have changed managers recently. Oscar Garcia has replaced Fran Escriba, and the Barcelona connection may well help Rafinha.
The Brazilian has made six La Liga appearances for Celta this season but missed their last outing against Barcelona again due to injury.
Marc Cucurella, Getafe
Marc Cucurella enjoyed a successful loan spell with Eibar last season and is once again getting plenty of first-team minutes in 2019-20 at Getafe.
Cucurella is also in the Spain Under-21 squad again for Euro qualifiers again Macedonia and Israel where he will link up with Ansu Fati and Barca B stars Inaki Pena, Jorge Cuenca and Abel Ruiz.
Oriol Busquets, FC Twente
Oriol Busquets is another player enjoying plenty of game time away from Barcelona at FC Twente in the Eredivisie.
The 20-year-old is known as a defensive midfielder but has been playing in central defence for FC Twente and has featured in eight of 13 league matches.
Busquets has spoken about what it’s like at a new club and also about his change in position with the Dutch side.
“With Barcelona you are almost always better and you have the ball. Here you have to fight, duel. That is why I do not mind that I am now in the center of the defence. I’m a number 6 by nature, and I prefer to play there. But as a central defender you are forced to play aggressively and scan the spaces. That is only good for my development.”
Source | Tubantia
Busquets is clearly learning plenty during his time at FC Twente, and it will be interesting to see just how he fares if he continues to play in defence in the Eredivisie.
Juan Miranda, Schalke
It’s a different story altogether for Juan Miranda at Schalke. The left-back has not managed a single minute for the Bundesliga side since sealing a surprise two-year loan.
He seemed happy enough in an interview with Mundo Deportivo in October, talking about his warm welcome at the club. Injury has played a part in his slow start to the season but hopefully he will be handed some chances to impress as the campaign progresses.