The only business at Barcelona on transfer deadline day was the exit of Hector Bellerin, who left for Sporting CP on a free.
The 27-year-old is expected to bring in some variables and the Blaugrana may get a percentage of a future sale, but to all intents and purposes, has left little in the bank.
He arrived on a free from Arsenal, with similar conditions in place, but failed to make an impact at the Blaugrana. Missing several weeks through injury, by the time he returned it had become clear that he was only to be used sparingly.
Hector Bellerin's final statistics at Barcelona:
4 x 90 minutes
494 minutes in total
0 assists pic.twitter.com/B2IIEE2wwY
— Football España (@footballespana_) February 2, 2023
Despite being Barcelona’s ‘only natural right-back’ in the words of manager Xavi Hernandez, the Blaugrana were content to let him go in favour of using Jules Kounde and Sergi Roberto there instead.
His meagre statistics suggest that lack of impact. Former Editor of Sport Ernest Folch has written in the Catalan paper asking why exactly Barcelona signed him. He described Bellerin as a ‘useless’ signing with ‘irrelevant numbers’, before ending his article with the following.
“Once again it has been proven that you have to take a deep breath before you go into the market.”
Bellerin was at the very least cost-effective with his salary close to the league million at around €500k. It is also true that this was before there was any certainty about the development of Alejandro Balde. Although a left-back, he has shown he can play on the right, and it frees Marcos Alonso to cover there if need be.
It should also be pointed out that Folch is a fierce critic of President Joan Laporta, being more closely aligned with former leaders such as Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu.