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Legacy of Robert Fernández: 12 signings for 443 million euros

Legacy of Robert Fernández: 12 signings for 443 million euros

ALBERT GEA

REUTERS

Umtiti, Cillessen and Coutinho can be put in the 'well that worked out nicely' pile, while some other arrivals at Camp Nou will be considered rather questionable.

Barcelona

Robert Fernandez is no longer technical secretary of Barcelona but, after three years in the role, he leaves behind a legacy of 12 signed players for a total outlay of 443 million euros.

Barça's Robert Fernandez impact

Although he arrived in season 2015/16, Robert was not responsible for the arrivals of the two players who signed at that time, namely Aleix Vidal and Arda Turan. They had already been arranged by the board after the club had won the treble, and ahead of Barcelona's forced compliance with Fifa's imposed transfer ban for two windows.

Thus, the signings he will be remembered for is limited to seasons 2016/17 and 2017/18. In each of them, Robert signed six players, spending 123 and 320 million euros respectively, the second of which was the 'summer of Neymar'.

April 2017 | Back when Neymar wore the Barça shirt.

The good: Umtiti, Cillessen, the bad:...

In his first effective year Samuel Umtiti, André Gomes, Jasper Cillessen, Denis Suárez, Lucas Digne and Paco Alcácer all arrived at the Camp Nou. Undoubtedly, from this group, based on both price and performance, Umtiti and Cillessen stand out as the better investments. The others have failed to live up to expectations with special mention going to André Gomes. From Benfica to Valencia then Barça, the Portuguese midfielder arrived surrounded by much hype but has never fulfilled his potential. With a fee that rose to 55 million euros, Gomes will likely be remembered as the most notable error of Fernandez' two years.

February 2018 | Andre Gomes attempts to control the ball against Valencia in the Copa del Rey.

Neymar led to Dembélé and Coutinho

In the second campaign, the world record Neymar exit changed the conditions of the transfer market. Coming in to Barça during the same summer were Demebélé, Paulinho, Semedo and Deulofeu and they were then joined in the winter market by Philippe Coutinho and Yerry Mina. Coutinho has been the stand out signing over the period although time will tell if this view is held down the line with Demebélé's early career there hampered by injury.

Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho, the headline signing for Robert Fernández.

Beyond signings, it's worth noting that more players have left than come in under Robert, including the undesired exit of Neymar to PSG. Arda Turan, Marlon Douglas, Deulofeu, Munir and Samper were all loaned out (some twice), while Alves, Mathieu and Sandro were given their freedom. Bartra, Mascherano and Mboula also said their goodbye's to the Catalan giants.

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