Defeat to Manchester United on Thursday ended a dismal season in Europe for Barcelona. After a disappointing group stage exit in the Champions League, the Blaugrana have now exited the Europa League at the first hurdle.
Despite having a successful season so far domestically, Barcelona often measure themselves by their performances in European competition. An excellent first half showing against their Premier League opponents saw them on their way to progression, but Fred’s early second half goal rattled Xavi Hernandez’s side, and they never recovered.
When a team’s backs are up against the walls, they look to their creative players to drive them forward. For Barcelona, that should have been Raphinha. However, the Brazilian produced a desperately poor performance in Manchester, before being replaced after 75 minutes.
He has had an excellent start to 2023, but the match against Manchester United was a perfect opportunity to show why he deserves a regular starting spot, even when Ousmane Dembele returns from injury. However, he failed to do so.
Fellow attackers Ferran Torres and Ansu Fati made substitute appearances against Man Utd, and while the former showed glimpses on his return to Manchester, neither has the desired impact from the bench.
If Barcelona are to take the next step into becoming a European force again, they will require big signings over the next couple of seasons. However, the club’s financial situation may well prevent this unless major sales are processed.
Raphinha, Torres and Fati have all been linked with moves away from Barcelona at different times throughout the season, and if two are sold, they could raise enough funds to ease the pressure on their finances, while also sufficiently strengthening in order to make Xavi’s squad better.
With Dembele to return, having all four seems like a waste, especially when three (Raphinha, Torres and Dembele) all favour playing on the right wing. The Frenchman should be a priority to stay, but the question remains about who should join him next season.
When comparing Raphinha, Torres and Fati, the Brazilian is the oldest and has the lowest ceiling in terms of potential ability, despite his excellent performances in 2023 thus far. Taking into account that he is arguably no better than Dembele and Torres on the right, his sale should be a strong consideration for Barcelona this summer, especially if they can receive upwards of €70m.
Fati has not shown up for much of this season, and he is currently failing to deliver on the promise he showed when he first broke into the first team as a 16-year-old back in 2019. Injuries haven’t helped his cause, but he has had opportunities this season to show his worth to Xavi, but has largely failed to do so.
Torres showed what he can bring to the Barcelona squad in Sunday’s match against Cadiz, but the question for the remainder of the season will be if he can maintain that form. If he can, he could well deserve to stay in the Barcelona squad for next season.
Equally, if Fati can suddenly prove his value and becoming an attacking threat again, then he could then deserve to be a Barcelona player next season. However, it may be better served letting one of the two go in order to generate transfer funds and bring in a top quality left winger if neither step up their game.
Barcelona have proven that they have been the best team in Spain so far this season, but Cules will be desperate for European success to return to the club in the coming seasons, and ruthlessness may be required for that to happen.
Image via EFE
“Raphinha, Torres and Fati have all been linked with moves away”
Yeah but who is buying? A plug, a choker and a glassman? Knowing bribELona are in economical trouble it would be insane not to lowball them. Oh so you need to sell? Well I’ll offer 50% of their value. Take it or leave it.
Noone of them made a huge impression on club either, fati could have been something but he is injured all the time, torres just got bought and flopped royally.
Arsenal offered 70m€ in jaunary for Raphina wich was rejected by barca. Many clubs would offer 70 to 100million for either one of Fati and Raphina. Torres May genera3e around 50
Many clubs would offer 70 to 100million for either one of Fati and Raphina
Turn off Fifa bro.
Just use following mind experiment:
Would you rather give 100mil for Bellingham or raphinha?
Would you give 100 mil for an injury prone player or Bellingham?
If the answer is no then odds are high others reason in same ways. 100 mil is a superstar tier of cost and none of those players are superstars.
Transfermarkt values ferran to 35, fati to 50 and raphinha to 50.
If club gets 30 mil for ferran, 40 for fati and 40 for raphinha id say they can consider themselves happy, since it’s far from “sellers market” in their case.
Man, you are right, but you are very annoying!
Good, I write my posts so people like you will be annoyed.
Barcelona is still owing ManC for Ferran transfer and owing Raphinha’s former club transfer money. They are owing salaries to Sergio Busquet, Jodi Alba, Franky de Jong, Messi and even Gerald Pique. They also need to continue to pay referees joyful money to Negreria otherwise he threatened to go to court and expose what they cooked to burn the house. We have not forgotten they owe an original €1.2B which could have climbed to €1.5B now. There is no way any club in its right senses will buy any of those 3 players for more than €35M. You are too generous suggesting €70M. Never!
Nah man, I never suggested 70 mil, I quoted that guy.
I should have used “Many clubs would offer 70 to 100million for either one of Fati and Raphina” in citations.
Noone in their right mind would do business with brokELona (out of exact reasons you mentioned with delayed payments) as clubs prefer payment instead of “I owe you” paper notes.