Barcelona sent several players out on loan at the start of the season and added a few more in the January transfer window with Carles Alena, Jean-Clair Todibo and Moussa Wague all heading away from the Camp Nou.
But how have they been getting on away from the Camp Nou? Time to check on the progress of Barca’s loan army...
Philippe Coutinho, Bayern Munich
Coutinho has seen plenty of game time at Bayern this season. He’s featured in 21 of their 24 league games, contributing eight goals and six assists. In the Champions League he’s made five starts with a goal and two assists.
He has started Bayern’s last two games, scoring twice in the 6-0 hammering of Hoffenheim:
Back into the Bayern Munich starting XI with two goals— Goal (@goal) March 2, 2020
Philippe Coutinho needed this performance pic.twitter.com/O6pJIBqJkZ
Yet Bayern really don’t sound like Coutinho is a player they want to keep.
Manager Hansi Flick has said recently Coutinho seems to be trying to hard and is making the wrong decisions, while CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has said he seem “inhibited.”
It’s worth remembering his option to buy is a whopping €120m which is also bound to influence their thinking.
Jean-Clair Todibo, Schalke
Todibo’s departure for Schalke still doesn’t seem to make any sense and he’s started four of his six games in Germany. The most recent came in a 1-0 defeat to Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the German Cup.
The Frenchman almost scored a brilliant own goal during the match but saw it saved by goalkeeper Markus Schubert, although he did also came up with this lovely bit of play:
Todibo on loan on Schalke, under pressure and still playing it out of the back in some style. pic.twitter.com/YoaQQ8nWP9— Kristian Taylor (@Kjtaylor16) March 4, 2020
Don’t forget Schalke have the option of buying Todibo for just €25m (plus €5m in add-ons), while Barca can then buy him back for an absolutely bonkers €50m plus €10m in variables.
Carles Alena, Real Betis
Alena has four starts and four sub appearances for Betis since joining in the winter transfer window. Rubi’s men have hit a bit of slump in recent weeks. Saturday’s defeat to Valencia made it six games in a row without a win.
The midfielder shone in the 3-0 win over Real Sociedad and also looked good against Barcelona and Eibar. His last two appearances have come off the bench but he’ll be hoping for a start next time out again Real Madrid.
Rafinha, Celta Vigo
Rafinha has started to enjoy himself at Celta Vigo after an injury-interrupted start to life at Balaidos, playing 18 times in La Liga.
He even did his best to help Barca’s title bid, shining in a 2-2 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu in February:
1 - Rafinha Alcántara in the game against Real Madrid:— OptaJose (@OptaJose) February 17, 2020
49 passes completed - 1st for Celta
89.1% passing accuracy - 1st for Celta
11 duels won - 1st of match
5 fouls won - 1st of match
11 recoveries - 2nd of match
There have ben rumors already that Celta will try to make his deal permanent, although his wages could prove to be a sticking point.
Rafinha seems happy to stay at Celta which means he could already have played his last game for Barca.
Marc Cucurella, Getafe
Marc Cucurella has been a regular for an impressive Getafe side in 2019-20. Jose Bordalas’ men are in the hunt for Champions League places and knocked Ajax out of the Europa League.
The 21-year-old has played primarily as a left winger at Getafe, rather than a left-back, and has been pretty critical about Barca’s treatment of young players this season. He said earlier this month the club’s youngsters don’t get the chances they deserve.
Those comments suggest Cucurella might not be in a rush to return to Barcelona, and his loan deal includes an option to buy for just €6m.
Moussa Wague, Nice
Moussa Wague left in January after struggling to make an impact at Barcelona and has made four appearances for Ligue 1 side Nice.
The defender’s first three outings were all as a late substitute, but he made his first start of the season in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Nice, picking up an assist for his team’s equaliser.
Oriol Busquets, FC Twente
Oriol Busquets is continuing to enjoy regular game time in the Eredivisie with an FC Twente side struggling at the wrong end of the table. They are just two points off the bottom three.
The 21-year-old has played in midfield and central defence this season, making 20 appearances, and gave an interview last month talking about how the move had made him a better footballer.
Juan Miranda, Schalke
Juan Miranda had to wait a long time for his first Schalke minutes but finally made his debut in December in a victory over Eintracht Frankfurt.
Only three more apperances have followed for the young left-back, with the highlight being an assist in the cup win over Hertha Berlin:
Injury has disrupted his team in Germany but his loan deal runs until next summer so he still has plenty of time to make an impact.