Eight players at risk of being offloaded by Barcelona
That leaves key parts of their squad looking much healthier and younger than they have in a while. These are “back-up” players with the youth and quality required to genuinely strengthen the Barcelona squad.
What’s left for Barcelona is to trim the fat currently accumulating around the edges of the squad.
They have already begun this, allowing Lucas Digne to finalise a move to Everton and actively shopping World Cup hero Yerry Mina around Europe.
But what about the rest of the squad? Who should Barça keep, who should they sell and who should they loan? Read on and find out!
Denis Suárez Attacking midfielder, 24 years-old
When Denis Suárez joined Barcelona (or, re-joined) back in 2016 he took Xavi’s shirt number and said his favourite position was the one occupied by Andrés Iniesta. These were bold claims of intent from a promising young talent, and thus far he has mostly just failed to live up to them.
Denis is a meandering presence, useful in spurts but not possessing the quality a side like Barcelona need. Move him on, if for no other reason than to free the no. 6 for Arthur.
Ousmane Dembélé Winger, 21 years-old
Ousmane Dembélé spent more than half of his debut season with Barcelona recovering from injury, and in the other half, he was an energetic and creative presence who went inexplicably underutilised by coach Ernesto Valverde.
The arrival of Malcom has led to many speculating that Barça will discard the Frenchman, but that would be an enormous mistake. Dembélé is a superb talent that fits Barcelona perfectly; all he needs is consistent minutes and he will show his enormous quality.
Rafinha Central midfielder, 25 years-old
A phenomenal teenage prospect as a forward, injuries have dogged his entire career and prevented him from truly blossoming as a player. He had a brilliant loan spell at Inter last season, but the Italian club decided not to pursue his signing.
Paco Alcacer Striker, 24 years-old
Barcelona signed Paco Alcacer as an orthodox striker for a decidedly unorthodox position (backing up Luis Suárez). Unsurprisingly the Spaniard struggled to perform under the increased pressure and tactical differences, but he’s never once complained and has always shown his willingness to work hard and play out of position.
No one would buy him now, but a loan spell to a smaller La Liga side could see his value rocket up as, playing in a more orthodox system, he would surely bag goals with ease.
Munir Striker, 23 years-old
Munir was one of the strikers cast aside by Barcelona when they signed Alcacer, but that always seemed like a mistake. The youngster had a good season on loan with Alaves last year, and has a more unorthodox skill-set that better fits with what Barcelona will want from a back-up forward.
The Blaugrana should definitely keep him, as he will up the side’s handsomeness quotient whilst providing quality depth and, perhaps, even blossoming into first XI material.
André Gomes Central midfielder, 24 years-old
If you were designing a midfielder based purely on a physical and technical skill-set, you’d probably end up with something like André Gomes. Of course, mental strength is a key part of being a footballer and Gomes has spoken out about his mental health struggles affecting his performances since joining the Blaugrana.
His stock is low right now, but a loan to a mid-table side in Europe, where the pressure is much less, would see him thrive and his value skyrocket.
Aleix Vidal Right-back, 28 years-old
Aleix Vidal was so eager to join Barcelona he was prepared to wait 6 months until the club’s registration ban was over to actually play for them. That half year on the sidelines did him more harm than good, and he’s never really fit in since then (although he did suffer a horrible leg break right in the midst of his best run of form).
As sad as it is, the club now has their right-back of the future in Nelson Semedo; time to let Aleix go and hope regular football somewhere else can help him find his form again.
Thomas Vermaelen Centre-back, 32 years-old
Thomas Vermaelen is, by all accounts, a lovely chap. He also won three trophies for Barcelona before he’d even played three games for them. Mainly because injuries have constantly prevented him from getting into a good run of form. Whenever he hits his stride, an injury knocks him out of it. But he’s a veteran, a top professional, and someone who understands how important victory is.