The financial state of soccer has been turned upside down by the COVID-19 outbreak around the world, with European clubs struggling to make ends meet during the suspended campaigns. However, a surprising victim to this has been La Liga leaders FC Barcelona, who ironically recorded the highest revenue of any club last season.
That itself turned out to be a façade, as the Blaugrana are actually tangled in heavy debt they need to clear up. Josep Bartolomeu’s popularity keeps on dipping and uncertainty surrounds the club.
Amid this, they’ve reportedly made a controversial decision to put every single player available for sale on the market apart from Lio Messi, Frenkie De Jong and Marc-Andre Ter Stegen. However, considering the number of talents they have, the Spanish side could be raided in the summer. Here are 3 Players they should keep and 3 they should sell.
1. Luis Suarez
If Barca were forced to sell off high-profile stars, many could want Luis Suarez to be sold or perhaps swapped for a younger striker. The age-factor obviously plays a part as well as his recent injury worries. However, the Uruguayan possesses certain traits not many else do in Europe at the moment.
He shares great chemistry with Messi, knowing how to link-up with him to destroy defences & still possesses that lethality in his game to score goals at will. The 33-year-old is a genuine match-winner & has netted 191 goals in 270 appearances for Barca, an insane record. Suarez still has a lot of bite (mind the pun) remaining in him and despite his timely controversies, he should be kept beyond this season for Barca to continue challenging for titles.
2. Arthur Melo
Arthur is another one potentially in the risk of being sold by the Spanish giants, but that would actually be a pretty illogical decision from them. The Brazilian might’ve had his injury concerns, but he still has his best years ahead of him. Rather than relying on ageing players like Sergio Busquets or Arturo Vidal, they must give more priority to a sublime midfielder like Arthur.
The Brazilian’s passing ability, creativity & composure makes him perfect for Barca’s tiki-taka style. He also possesses the ability to thrive on the bigger occasions and has shown enough potential to create another majestic combo with De Jong in the coming years.
3. Antoine Griezmann
Antoine Griezmann hasn’t had the best of debut seasons at Camp Nou, which could be a reason for Barca selling him. However, the Frenchman is still settling into this change after spending years at Atletico Madrid and has been treated quite unfairly this season as well.
Indeed, by playing him out of position to isolating him to the wings, Ernesto Valverde used him pretty bad & Quique Setien is still learning how to use him the best way. A World Cup winner as well as bonified match-winner, Griezmann possesses enough craft, goal-scoring ability & impactful nature to start booming once properly settled into this system.
1. Philippe Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho could perhaps go down as the worst signing in Barcelona’s history, as they ended up paying Liverpool a bucket load of money for someone who eventually flopped at Camp Nou. Coutinho has shown little signs of improvement at Bayern Munich, who keep him benched most of the time.
He just doesn’t have the creative will or chemistry to link-up with Messi & co. Neither does he seem suited to the La Liga style. Coutinho probably has past his best years and even though they will struggle to find a buyer ready to pay a formidable fee, just getting him off their books would be wise for next summer.
2. Ousmane Dembele
Second-up in Barca’s terrible transfer business is Ousmane Dembele, who was actually signed as the replacement of Neymar (lol) a few years ago. Since then, he’s spent more time on the treatment table than on the Camp Nou pitch. Not just that, but his attitude also stinks.
Dembele’s reputation didn’t do any good of rumours he often missed training due to have developed a “gaming disorder” a few years ago. He hasn’t fulfilled his potential, scoring just 19 goals in 74 appearances. He’s made only 9 appearances, showing little intention to succeed for Barca. Thankfully, Dembele’s age means he will still fetch a decent price from another club, so they shouldn’t hesitate to take the money and get him off their paycheck.
3. Samuel Umtiti
Another player who just never seems to be fit is Samuel Umtiti. He’s just made over 15 appearances this season & doesn’t seem the same after a flurry of injuries following his crucial role for France in the FIFA World Cup 2018.
Umtiti isn’t as good as Clement Lenglet nor as influential as Gerard Pique. His injury concerns means selling him won’t be a bad option, with Barca possessing enough academy products to fill his void. They could get a decent fee for him with many interested and could use that into signing another defender or perhaps investing in a more prolific attacking player.