3 January 2019
This summer transfer is surely one to forget for Barcelona fans and the entire Barcelona family. Entering the window, there was a team that needed more spoonful of talents. The famous Barcelona midfield sewn from the wizard likes of Xavi, Iniesta and other ingenious accomplices was failing. The famous tiki taka was withering and more responsibility was transferred to the devastating trio of Messi, Suarez, and Neymar. The famous MSN trident could win the champions league but largely faltered in the previous campaign. It, therefore, became obvious at the beginning of this transfer window that the Barcelona midfield needed to be reinvented or reinforced with more creative boots other than the lethargic feet of Andre Gomes.
Thus Barca’s early pursuit of PSG’s Verrati was justified. The diminutive Italian midfield maestro has his way of confidently commandeering the center of the pitch. He seemed the perfect addition and Barca unzipped their wallets for a purchase. However, PSG would be reluctant to part with their prized possession which personalized the Parisian project. Barca kept knocking on the door but PSG confidently wore their earphones and wouldn’t listen to Barcelona. Thus Barca resigned to their fate and looked to take their money elsewhere. The talk was all about bringing in a big name, not a big name leaving.
Thus Barcelona fans were left in shock and desperately practicing yoga to forestall heart attack when news came up of Neymar leaving Barca for a world record fee. It was initially seen as an insult as Barca was inarguably not a selling club and to trying to snatch Barca’s crown prince from Camp Nou was almost as difficult as getting Giroud to score 20 goals in a season for Arsenal. Dreams come to pass, same as nightmares too and Neymar eventually left for PSG in search of a controversial “new project and challenge”.
For Barca fans, the only worse news than that was Messi leaving. An already staggering Blaugarian ship has hit a Titanic iceberg and was sinking. How would Barcelona ever do without Neymar? Simply put, Neymar was irreplaceable and already at his prime was the rightful heir to the World Best once Messi and Ronaldo finish their tenure. Confusion and chaos riddled Barcelona as there was no warning sign of a Neymar exit for them to sufficiently buckle their shoes proactively. The Madrid 5-1 mauling was a sound reminder of what was to come if Barca failed to reinforced. Therefore with over 200 million pounds (from the sale of Neymar to PSG) and little brains and patience, Barca ran into the transfer market.
Bienvenue Mosquito ? @Dembouz pic.twitter.com/QWlIrJaf1y
— Samuel Umtiti (@samumtiti) August 25, 2017
Clubs already new Barca were desperate and understandably impatient. Knowing the size of their now over-hefty pocket, the fees shot up violently. Dortmund particularly tortured Barca for Dembele. The same Dembele they got from Rennes for less than 15m pounds. Barca had little choice. Yes, Dembele was superb, but coming at over 100m euros, it was clear there was no justice in the fees.
The Barca board were under pressure. Messi had not signed a new contract despite claims from the President Bartomeu that he had signed. A lack of no confidence vote against his tenure was gathering volume and with an ailing team, Barca needed to spend and really spend big.
Ousmane Dembele is ambidexterity defined. ? pic.twitter.com/CldlO9dPXf
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 21, 2017
At the end there came Dembele from Dortmund to fill Neymar’s shoes for over 130m euros. At just 20 years, that was an overtly huge fee traditionally to pay. Blame it on the ambiguous transfer window, where a pizza can be sold for $1 million pounds. The question, therefore, is if Barca right in spending over 130m euros in buying Dembele.