FC Barcelona Squad’s: Prospects and Takeaways

Amongst the top clubs of Spain, over the years FC Barcelona has been one of the biggest names in European Football. But, sadly this isn’t the case anymore. With the setback at Rome Liverpool and Lisbon. Then losing their star players, a club under financial turmoil the Blaugranas have faced a lot of difficulties over the last 6 years. The club currently is undergoing a massive rebuild. But as they say in clubs as big as Barcelona there is nothing like a transition year. The fans always expect their team to be at competitive best and fight till the end. In this transfer window, they lost the greatest player in their history along with the likes of Greizmann, Emerson, etc. The club still has some exciting young talent coming along with some World Class names who will take the responsibility to kick-start a new era at Camp Nou.

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Previous season

The first season with Ronald Koeman as head coach was a hot and cold one for FC Barcelona. Thanks to the genius of Likes of Antoine Greizmann, Leo Messi Barcelona won Copa Del Rey. They got a Silverware which was an upgrade as a season before that they went trophyless. In the Champions League, the Catalans were knocked out by PSG following the 5-2 defeat in RO16. After a poor start of League, Barca went on a hunt and pull a massive comeback in the table. In the end, it wasn’t enough as they failed to keep up the momentum in the final games and finished 3rd.

Transfer Bussiness this window

Let’s have a look at the squad of FC Barcelona for season 2021-22 after the transfer window. Let’s discuss position-wise the new signings, exits, and rate how good the squad is and where there are still loopholes.

Goalkeepers

Marc Andre Ter Stegen , Neto , Inaki Pena.

Out : None

In : None

Missed Opportunity: Signing Gianluigi Donnarumma for free.

FC Barcelona enters into the new season with identical Goalies from Last season. The club will rely on the services of German wall Marc Andre Ter Stegen who will make his return after undergoing surgery. The Brazilian GK Neto who was earlier rumored to leave stays and will be used as Ter Stegen’s backup with Inaki Pena breaking in from the academy will be 3rd choice GK.

Although this looks a solid trio of Keepers Barca had an offer to sign Gigi Donnarumma from AC Milan when he was a free agent but their financial conditions didn’t favor them much. They were unable to offload Neto and that left no space for Donnarumma to come in who would have been a great addition to the side considering the dip in Ter Stegen’s form.

Our Rating: 7.5/10

Defenders

Sergino Dest , Oscar Mingueza , Jordi Alba , Eric Garcia , Ronald Araujo , Samuel Umititi , Clement Lenglet , Gerrard Pique.

In: Eric Garcia (from Manchester City), Oscar Mingueza (promoted from Barca B)

Out: Junior Firpo (Sold to Leeds), Emerson Royal (Sold to Tottenham).

Missed Opportunity: Not signing a good left-footed center-back, Letting Emerson Leave.

Barcelona Defenders
Emerson and Firpo and Garcia and Balde

Weak Defense is now a problem of years at Barcelona and even after this window, this problem isn’t resolved yet. As for Fullbacks, Barcelona has reliable starters in Dest and Alba but they have no proper backup.  Firpo moved away leaving Alba as the only Left Back in 1st team. Alba’s backup will likely be Balde from Barca B. On the right-hand side with Roberto playing in mid this season and in desperate need of money selling Emerson 29 days after signing him Dest is the only proper RB who will have Mingueza as his backup who is naturally a CB.

As for right-footed center-backs, Barcelona has 2 promising young CBs in Araujo and Garcia along with the experienced Gerrard Pique. Though the Left center-back is still a problem Lenglet and Umititi both seem exhausted and hardly offered anything good last season. The likes of Pau Torres, Aymeric Laporte were linked to the club but the financial condition of the club didn’t allow any movement.

Our Rating: 6.5/10

Midfielders

Sergio Busquets , Sergi Roberto , Pedri Gonalez , Riqui Puig , Frenkie De Jong ,  Yusuf Demir , Phillipe Coutinho.

In: Yusuf Demir (Loaned from Rapid Vienna)

Out : Miralem Pjanic (Loaned to Besiktas) , Iliax Moriba (To RB Leipzig)

Missed Opportunity: Failing to sign an experienced Midfielder.

Barca Midfield led by Club Captain Sergio Busquets is full of enthusiastic young talents. However, experience is still missing. The Club failed to sign Wijnaldum because of financial turmoil. Likes of Talented Iliax Moriba and Miralem Pjanic also left due to financial conditions. There may be loopholes in terms of experience but when it comes to creativity it’s still one of the best with the likes of last season’s sensation Pedri, magical Frenkie De Jong, and Veteran Sergi Roberto. With departures, Puig and Demir are also expected to be used and they will have time to showcase their talents.

Barcelona Midfield
Gavi Puig Pedri and Nico (Barcelona young midfielders)

The return of Phillippe Coutinho will be a big boost, Phil had a great start under Koeman before he picked up the injury with Messi and Greizmann gone Coutinho will get his free role and fans will wish that he finally proves his worth. Ronald Koeman will also rely on the services of 17-year-old Gavi and Nico Gonalez who are currently with the B team but will play a prominent role for the main team as well.

Our Rating: 8/10

Forwards

Memphis Depay , Luuk De Jong , Ansu Fati , Ousame Dembélé , Sergio Aguero , Martin Braithwaite.

In: Memphis Depay (From Lyon), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Luuk De Jong (From Sevilla)

Out: Lionel Messi (To PSG), Antoine Greizmann (Loaned To Atletico), Trincao (Loaned to Wolves)

Missed Opportunity: Losing both Leo Messi and Antoine Greizmann in the same window without any proper replacement.

If any team in the world will lose their top 2 scorers from the previous season they are bound to suffer. That’s what happened with FC Barcelona. The Catalans lost their King due to La Liga FPP rules. Which for them is the biggest setback of this transfer window. In a shocking sequence of events, they loaned Greizmann to Atletico and got Luuk De Jong on loan from Sevilla. The moves of Laporta and his management are shocking but with this financial condition they can’t be questioned much and it remains to be seen what are they planning after saving hefty money from wages this summer.

Barcelona Fowards
Messi and Greizmann left Barcelona

The Forward line of Barcelona is a big issue. Aguero and Dembélé are out till October/November and Fati isn’t back to full fitness yet. To add to their problems Braithwaite picked up an injury and is out for few weeks leaving Memphis and Luuk De Jong as the only options. Memphis has shown promise with 3 goal involvements in 1st three league games and Koeman will expect more from his countrymen. Until everyone returns to full fitness the Dutch duo of Memphis and Luuk will need to step up and fire.

Once the Injured ones are back Barcelona’s attack may be fine and when mixed with proper tactics it can become lethal.

Our Rating: 7.5/10

Our overall rating for the Barcelona squad for 2021-22 will be 7.0/10

Expectations from the season

Though FC Barcelona is going through a massive rebuild process and have lost some of their biggest names they still have a squad that can compete at a good level. European success seems very tough from the current scenario but domestically the Catalans can do well. The club will aim to get Spanish Super Cup as a Silverware. The Blaugranas will also try to have a successful title defense of Copa del Rey. In addition to this, they will compete for La Liga with full determination and aim for glory. Even if they fail to do so a top 3 finish in transition season won’t be bad with them fighting till the end.

Conclusion

This season there will be a lot of freshness at Camp Nou. A New Era is all set to get unfolded. A new chapter begins in the history of Football Club Barcelona. The fans at Camp Nou should trust the process and back their team with full optimism as they always do. The Glory days may be gone but with the dedication of players and management along with the support of fans, the Happy days will return soon at Football club Barcelona.

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