Barcelona Opinion: The set of players Barca need to offload this summer
While a set of Barcelona fans are still optimistic over the transfer reports linking Antoine Griezmann and Neymar Jr to the club (h/t Daily Express), there are a bunch of people still opposing it.
In addition, there are still a few who haven’t gotten over the shocking defeats in the Champions League and in the Copa Del Rey. Contrasting emotions but their desire remains the same – they want a brand new line-up for next season.
It is safe to say that Barca relied heavily on their talisman Lionel Messi the last term whilst there were a few others who failed to chip in.
And the Catalans must overhaul the current squad and prepare a competitive one to seek glory in the Champions League next season. Yet, they are hit with a snag as they have to offload some players in order to raise funds for the incoming ones.
Here are a few players Barcelona must let off their hook.
It was quite shocking when Barca signed Arturo Vidal from Bayern Munich for a rather sumptuous fee. The Chilean international, without a doubt, made his presence felt at Nou Camp with a string of impressive displays, despite being overlooked by Valverde at the start.
The former Juve star even became a starter, beating the likes of injury-prone Arthur. He played 57 games, bagging 3 goals and 7 assists in the process. Whilst his stats and work-rate are eye-catching, the fact that he is in his 30s prevents him from being a long-term horse for Barca’s course.
The 32-year-old is now on the cusp of his twilight and it still remains to be seen whether he can prolong his success until the final day of his contract.
On the other hand, Serie A giants Inter Milan are persistent on signing the midfielder. Barca should consider the option of selling Vidal, who looks like a tailor-made option for Serie A.
One of the long-stays at Nou Camp and bought by Luis Enrique from Sevilla, the Croatian hit the ground running at the beginning and turned out to be a bargain for the La Liga kings.
Then came the roughest course under Valverde, who often deployed Rakitic as a central midfielder with a more defensive mindset. In turn, the output in terms of creativity and goalscoring ratio declined significantly.
Regardless of his World Cup success with Croatia in 2018, the 31-year-old tuned out as an underperformer for Barca in the previous season.
While there were some inspiring performances from Rakitic, he was one of the let-downs for the Catalans in the Champions League defeat against Liverpool.
Inter Milan and Manchester United have turned out to be his potential suitors and Barca still have enough time to make a decision on the Croat’s future.
Philippe Coutinho’s career at Nou Camp has been one of his worst spells so far. The former Liverpool man persistently made his switch to Nou Camp on a big-money move.
The way he started gave enough hopes for the Blaugrana faithful to move on from the departure of Andres Iniesta.
But it was only flattering to deceive as the 26-year-old suffered a big dip in form midway through the season, eventually causing angst among the fans.
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It is arguable that Coutinho sacrificed his attacking midfielder role to become a full-time winger, which he largely failed to embrace.
However, Dembele’s presence and the possible arrival of Neymar would definitely complicate his presence at Nou Camp. Barca can consider the option of selling the Brazilian this summer, with clubs like PSG and Chelsea interested in him.