€63 million worth of disappointment
Barcelona’s summer signings gave a poor account of themselves in the shock home defeat to Alavés. Cillessen, Digne, Denis and Alcacer were disappointing while both Umtiti and Andre Gomes were left out.
Like the rest of the team, Barcelona’s summer signings disappointed in Saturday night’s 2-1 home loss to Alavés. After a summer of big spending and a lot of positive, optimistic talk, and just when the club believed it had finally put together a squad complete and rounded enough to indulge Luis Enrique in his mass rotations, Alavés spoiled the party. Cillessen (€13 million), Digne (€16.5 million), Denis Suárez (€3.5 million) and Paco Alcacer (€30 million) all played and came up short.
A poor debut from Jasper Cillessen
The Dutch goalkeeper didn’t make a single important save, stopping just a couple of tame shots. Alavés’ two goals weren’t easy saves by any stretch of the imagination but he was slow to react to Deyverson’s opener and showed a worrying lack of anticipation for the second. After the final whistle he admitted he was disappointed but also insisted that he would improve, starting with Celtic on Tuesday.
Digne still not completely in sync
The full-back was solid if unadventurous in the first half and was careful in possession. But after the break he resorted to crossing everything that came to him out wide and didn’t look, as Jordi Alba does, for Messi to shake his marker. He has a good touch but his performance exposed some defensive shortcomings.
Denis Suárez, sluggish and unimaginative
Perhaps he was tired and in need of a rest after featuring regularly in the early stages of the season and for the Spain U21 squad, but Denis looked sluggish and unimaginative. He lost possession and failed to show the creative side of his game. Substituted after an hour.
Paco Alcácer needs more time
The €30 million man showed just one glimpse of his quality. Upon signing for the club he said he saw himself as a penalty box finisher good at shaking his marker and he almost scored after reacting quickly to a cross from Arda only to fire wide. Aside from that one, fleeting moment he looked cumbersome and out of place. Perhaps he needed more time to bed in before making his Camp Nou debut.