Robert: Barca an excellent team

Robert Fernandez believes Barcelona are “an excellent team” and that their new faces will help them “to compete and maintain their level”.

Barca signed Paulinho, Nelson Semedo, Gerard Deulofeu and Ousmane Dembele over the summer but lost Neymar and drew criticism for their failure to land Philippe Coutinho or anyone else on deadline day.

“Our work has taken a long time to do,” began the technical secretary at a Press conference.

“Deulofeu? We saw his performances for Everton and Milan and we all agreed to bring him back. We have big hopes for him.

“Semedo? It was a priority to sign a right-back with pace and technique, so we chose Nelson. The Coach liked him too, so we worked hard to bring him in.

“Paulinho? We were always aware of his progress at Guangzhou. It’s not true that he lacks quality, he has experience and he’ll change opinions. He can also play in three positions.

“Dembele? He’s a young player with great enthusiasm, and we expect big things from him. He’ll give us goals, assists and differences with his pace.

“Marlon, Douglas, Samper and Munir being loaned out? We’re confident that many of them can grow this season and come back.

“Vermaelen? He didn’t get many minutes at Roma and struggled with injuries, but he has lot of quality.

“We have a lot of faith in him. The Coach was also very happy with him during preseason.

“The signings we’ve made will help us a lot in competing and maintaining our level of recent seasons. I have no doubts about them.

“Barca are an excellent team, and anyone that’s watched us will have seen it. It’s difficult to improve on what we have, but we’ve planned [our signings] some time ago.

“We worked on bringing in some players last night, but it wasn't possible. Now we have to think about continuing our work. It’s my duty as technical secretary.

“It’s not true that we didn’t go for Verratti. I personally spoke to Unai Emery and he knows explicitly that he’s a player we wanted.

“Inigo and Seri are two players that we considered, like many others, but we decided that it was best not to sign them.

“La Masia? Barca B were in a division we didn’t want them to be in, but their promotion to Segunda will help us a lot. I’m sure several of their players will go up to the first team.

“Real Madrid have also spent millions on players. When we can do favourable deals, we do them. When we can’t, we don’t.”

Tags Gerard Deulofeu Nelson Semedo Ousmane Dembele Paulinho Robert Fernandez