Barcelona: Grading the transfer window

One star out the door and several shortcomings; are Barcelona falling into an abyss?


With the commencement of the 2017/18 season, we say goodbye to the summer transfer window. 

There was drama throughout the Nou Camp through the summer, with influential figures ranging from Barcelona’s President to their own players making remarks that did not hold true.

Eight players arrived and ten left during one of the more bizarre transfer windows in the Catalan side’s history.

Before the speculated departure of Neymar, several players were linked to the giants, and despite the Brazilian’s exit making it seemingly necessary for the club to make major moves, little action was taken, puzzling fans and players alike.

RealSport takes a look at the biggest names in Barca’s transfer window.

INCOMING

  1. 1 Ousmane Dembélé


    From: Borussia Dortmund

    Fee: £94.5m

    Position: LW/RW

    This is Barcelona's biggest signing of the summer. Having already claimed Neymar's number 11, there will be huge expectations of the young Frenchman.

    Dembele possesses phenomenal talent, scoring two goals and registering six assists in the Champions League this season at just 20 years-old. He is also already part of France's National Team.

    If Dembele ends up being enough to fill the hole left by Neymar he will certainly have justified his enormous transfer fee.

  2. 2 Paulinho


    From: Guangzhou Evergrande

    Fee: £36m

    Position: CM

    Paulinho to Barcelona was almost as Cinderella-esque as Leicester winning the Premier League two seasons ago. The 29-year-old, who struggled mightily in the Premier League with Tottenham, arrived from China and many still don't understand why.

    Barcelona may not be as strong as they were a few years ago, but it appeared that there were several more impressive options available.

    It's too early to write him off. Barcelona should find his box-to-box ability useful, but only time will tell.

  3. 3 Gerard Deulofeu


    From: Everton

    Fee: £10.5m

    Position: LW

    Barcelona activated their buy-back clause on Deulofeu, bringing an end to a difficult spell for the young winger.

    During his time at Everton, he spent time on loan at AC Milan where he scored four goals and had three assists in 17 games. There was an option to bring him back the summer before but former boss Luis Enrique declined, finding it unnecessary.

    Valverde will hope that, in bringing Deulofeu back, he will settle in and add more sting to the attack.

  4. 4 Nelson Semedo


    From: Benfica

    Fee: £25m

    Position: RB

    The Portuguese defender has been added as defensive cover and to give Valverde further options. 

    Many have compared the youngster to former right-back Dani Alves and, given they played the same position, it will be intriguing to see if he will fill those shoes.

    At just 23 he possesses a soft touch with great playmaking ability but doesn't shy away from making a big tackle when necessary.

OUTGOING

  1. 1 Neymar Jr


    To: Paris Saint-Germain

    Fee: £198m

    Position: LW

    Undoubtedly the highlight of this summer's transfer window across Europe was seeing Neymar sign for Paris Saint-Germain. For many, the move started off as a small rumour, almost like a myth, something that no one could believe. 

    His exit was nothing short of dramatic. Gerard Pique tweeted "he stays" and top members of the club also stated that Neymar would continue to play his football at Barcelona. For the £198 million price tag though, Barcelona couldn't say no.

    PSG broke the bank for the Brazilian phenom and congratulations to them. The loss though is a huge blow for the Catalan squad and whether they will cope without him, even with the addition of Dembele, remains to be seen 

  2. 2 Jérémy Mathieu


    To: Sporting CP

    Fee: Free Transfer

    Position: CB

    Mathieu walked out of the Camp Nou almost unnoticed with all the attention surrounding the departure of Neymar and arrival of Dembele. 

    The Frenchman was not a part of Valverde's plans and at 33 that choice becomes even easier to make.

    Like any footballer it is hard to hold a position at a top club for long and his time has inevitably come. 

Have Barcelona missed anything?

Barcelona's transfer window was loud and dramatic and, while they made significant financial gains from the sale of Neymar, it is hard to applaud them. The better question may be "what haven't they missed?" 

Before the whole Neymar escapade, Barcelona was rumoured to signing a multitude of players that would take them a level higher in European football.

Multiple offers were made for Philippe Coutinho, Marco Verratti, and Ángel di María, but nothing came to life in the Catalan province. 

The dire need to replace those who had left with new, young and fresh talent was of utmost importance and we may see how that lacklustre approach by the board may bring everything down on itself.

RealSport verdict: C

Seeing a club who were so dependent on three key players lose one of those members was a huge shock, not only for fans but the whole world of football. Barcelona's inability to use the capital gained from the sale was beyond concerning. 

Now that the rumour mill has come to a halt and nothing can be done until the next transfer window, seeing the present Barcelona squad compared to the one that won the treble just a few seasons back is dreadful.

Signing Dembele from Dortmund was a decent accomplishment, but from a club of this pedigree, we expect more.

President Bartomeu's lack of guidance when it was needed most lands Barcelona this poor grade.  

We have seen the damage Real Madrid have done to the Catalan giants, so where will Barcelona finish this season? Leave a comment below on your thoughts of the transfer window.

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Mushtaq Nizamdin

Mushtaq is currently an undergraduate student studying Therapeutic Recreation in an Honours program at Seneca College. He is working towards becoming a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and working with athletes.

He is a Real Madrid fan at heart but writes about football with his mind.

Mushtaq referees soccer at his school and coaches as a volunteer in the community.

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