With the qualification for the Champions League sorted out in LaLiga in Spain, and the situation concerning second place (which gives access to the Spanish Super Cup) soon to be resolved, given Atlético and Sevilla have to play each other, Barcelona’s games being played at the moment are watched and indeed talked about with one eye firmly on the 2022-23 season. Who’ll be in and who’ll be out after the summer. Who might join? If anyone decent can be brought in, given the economic situation at the club. Indeed, yesterday a report from LaLiga revealed that 56% of the losses suffered by Spanish football due to the pandemic were at Barcelona. LaLiga were very sweet in their report which didn’t name the club, but rather alluded to it, talking of “a unique club of particular relevance.” But it’s pretty clear who they’re on about.
Who could Barcelona sign?
Haaland was a dream of course, and he’s off to City, the opulent state-owned club. Barcelona could bolster their squad turning to soccer’s outlet village, free players: Christensen, Kessié, Azpilicueta if they’re lucky... Even then, they’d need to shift an expensive player to pay any of those players’ wages, with the added problem of the four-to-one rule for over-budget clubs, which limits spending to one euro for every four saved. De Jong is everyone’s most likely to leave, but let’s see if he accepts. What about Dembélé, with his gigantic pay packet? Xavi likes him, he doesn’t score many, but he gets through the opposition defense and if he could finish like he did yesterday...
Barcelona’s hopes for the team of the future: Ansu, Pedri, Gavi and Araújo
All in all, it’s hard to imagine a revolution. The heavyweights in the squad will stay on with the captains, Piqué-Busquets-Jordi Alba-Sergi Roberto, whose effect on the group isn’t entirely clear. Of the January players Ferran Torres has fallen into a slump, Eric García offers little, Alves has run out of gas, Adama has no spark. Aubameyang works, but as an opportunist. The hope is that Ansu can get back to be truly what he was, Pedri recovers his steel, and that those two plus Gavi and Araújo can get the Barça of the future cooking on gas. But it’ll take time. In this squad there are far too many players who are almost good enough for Barça, but they’re lacking that ‘almost’.