And 10 Players Barcelona May Sign In The Summer Transfer Window
Signed from Ajax in the summer transfer window of 2016 for £11.1m, Cillessen was viewed by many at the Camp Nou as the long-term replacement of Claudio Bravo. The Chilean had recently left to join Pep Guardiola at Manchester City and it was believed that Barca were getting an upgrade in the Dutchman.
However, while the expectation was that Cillessen would be rotated alongside Ter Stegen, the arrival of Ernesto Valverde in 2017 relegated the Dutchman to the sidelines. That was understandable, though, given the excellent form the German shot-stopper had showcased in the last few seasons.
With time running out on his career – as Cillessen would be 31 next season – the 2018/19 season was billed as a make-or-break for the Dutch goalkeeper. As it turned out, things went further south for Cillessen as he played only 90 minutes during the entirety of the season.
Provided the Dutchman does decide to leave, there will be no shortage of potential suitors for his signature. That said, the fact that Barcelona expect any club which might want to sign Cillessen to pay his release clause of €60million might prove to be a big stumbling block.
So why wasn’t he able to earn the trust of manager Ernesto Valverde? For starters, Murillo can’t be blamed for lack of game time. Instead, it is the form of other Barcelona defenders – those which are ahead of him in the pecking order – which relegated the Spaniard to the bench.
For instance, with the likes of Pique and Umtiti playing 4700 minutes between them last season – and Lenglet waiting in the wings in case either of the front two went out injured – playing time was nothing more than a pipe-dream for the 26-year-old.
Ask Barcelona fans, and many of them might not even know that Jeison Murillo was playing for the club last season. One cannot blame them as after his loan move in January transfer window, the Spanish international managed to make only 4 appearances for Barcelona before the end of the season.
While his short stint at Barcelona didn’t pan out as expected, Murillo has plenty to look forward to as far as his career is concerned. He has played for the likes of Valencia and Inter Milan in his career, and was voted as the 3rd best player in the 2016 Copa America.
Provided Rakitic decides to leave Barcelona, he’d be a big hit no matter where he goes. Even from his role as a deep-lying midfielder, Rakitic managed to score 3 and assist 5 goals to his teammates. He also formed a brilliant bridge between attack and defense as Barcelona stood tall on both fronts.
Furthermore, while he might be turning 31 next season, Rakitic shows no signs of slowing down. The Croatian played more minutes (2643) than both Coutinho (2018) and Sergi Roberto (2088) last season although both of them are younger in age.
Owing to his great performances for both club and country – as he was one of the main players in Croatia’s squad that reached 2018 World Cup Final – Ivan Rakitic has been a star of Barcelona transfer news as he attracts interest from the likes of Manchester United and PSG.
But with Barcelona completing the signing of Frankie De Jong from FC Ajax, serious doubts have emerged regarding the future of Rakitic at the club. Not only does the Dutchman has age on his side, but he has experience too – as demonstrated by his performances in the Champions League next season.
Fast forward a year, and Malcolm is yet to showcase the form which would justify Barcelona going all out for the Brazilian. In his first season at the club, the 22-year-old had a minute to goal ratio of 614 – one which puts him behind the likes of youngster Carles Alena and just ahead Arturo Vidal.
Additionally, of the 15 games that he played for Barca last season – 9 of them saw Malcolm coming off the bench. That indicates that Ernesto Valverde doesn’t trust the attacking midfielder as much as he trusts other members of the Barcelona squad.
In contrast to most other players which might leave Barcelona in the summer transfer window, Malcolm is young with his best playing days still ahead of him. Like most of them, however, it is the lack of form which might force him out of the club in the coming months.
Signed from Bordeaux for a hefty sum of £36.5m, Malcolm was increasingly linked with AS Roma before his eventual move to the Camp Nou. So bitter was the whole transfer saga that AS Roma were thinking of initiating legal action against Bordeaux.
One such player is Denis Suarez who spent the last season on loan at Premier League club Arsenal. His spell in England was nothing short of a disappointment. The Spaniard managed just 4 appearances for the Gunners all season – none of which resulted in a goal
In none of those four appearances did Suarez manage a goal or assist to his name. In fact, Suarez could find a place at Barcelona’s team for next season.
Barcelona squad as their Champions League humiliation at the hands of Liverpool. Coming into the 2 nd leg with a 3-0 advantage from the first, Barcelona were stunned them four times at Anfield.
Immediately after that defeat, at introspection started at the club with Spain-based newspapers questioning the utility of fringe players to the club. After all, if what you said, if you can not help bail out the club, do not be in Barcelona be well off without them.