Delivering the verdict on 15 players Barcelona have signed from the Premier League since 2000

Thierry Henry Signs For Barcelona

The Premier League has proven to be a popular hunting ground for Barcelona in recent years.

The Blaugrana’s current squad includes five players who used to play in England’s top flight, including Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez.

And they’re reportedly eager to add more players, including Chelsea winger Willian.

Yet, as we’re seeing with Philippe Coutinho, it doesn’t always work out.

The Brazilian signed for Barcelona in a £142 million deal from Liverpool one year ago but he has struggled to hit the heights expected of him.

The Evening Standard have reported that Barcelona are already considering selling Coutinho; it’s one move that they could really regret making.

Since 2000, the Spanish giants have completed 15 deals for Premier League players.

FC Barcelona v Villarreal CF - La Liga

15 players Barca have signed from the PL

GiveMeSport takes a look at how each one fared.

Emmanuel Petit | Arsenal | 2000

Petit lasted just one season at Barcelona, claiming in 2016 that Barca coach Lorenzo Serra Ferrer didn’t know what position he played in.

“I looked at the coach, looked at Richard [Dutruel, a teammate], and said, 'Is he joking?' Richard replied, 'He's not joking,’” Petit said on SFRSport, per ESPN.

He netted one goal in 38 appearances before signing for Chelsea.

Verdict: Miss

Emmanuel Petit, Patrick Kluivert

Marc Overmars | Arsenal | 2000

Overmars followed Petit to Catalonia and his spell was also frustrating.

The winger became the most expensive player in Dutch football history, Barcelona paying £25m for him.

But Overmars’ time at the Camp Nou was impacted by persistent injuries and he retired from football in 2004 after making 141 appearances for the club, although he would play one season for Go Ahead Eagles in 2008-09.

Verdict: Miss

Marc Overmars, Guerino Gottardi

Giovanni van Bronckhorst | Arsenal | 2003

Another player who left Arsenal for Barcelona, but this one was a success.

Barcelona initially signed the Dutchman on loan but that was made permanent in 2004.

Two years later, Van Bronckhorst lifted the Champions League trophy.

He was a hit as a left-back, winning five trophies and making 153 appearances across four seasons.

For just £1.6m, it was a great piece of business.

Verdict: Hit

Valencia's Argentinian Pablo Aimar (L) v

Eidur Gudjohnsen | Chelsea | 2006

Gudjohnsen filled his trophy cabinet at Barcelona, winning the treble in the 2008-09 season.

He was never a key figure at the club though, with Samuel Eto’o ahead of him in the pecking order.

Though he was a handy squad player, it’s impossible to call a player who scored 19 goals in 114 appearances a hit.

Verdict: Miss

Tottenham Hotspur v Barcelona - The Wembley Cup

Thierry Henry | Arsenal | 2007

Watching Henry depart north London was a sight that no Arsenal fan wanted.

But they were helpless to prevent him joining the Blaugrana for £19.2m in 2007.

And many were happy for him when, in 2009, he lifted the Champions League trophy.

It was under Pep Guardiola where Henry flourished, netting 26 goals in the treble-winning season.

The following season became more difficult due to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s arrival but his overall record at Barcelona included 49 goals in 121 matches and a bucketload of trophies.

Verdict: Hit

Barcelona's French forward Thierry Henry

Gerard Pique | Manchester United | 2008

Pique returned to Barcelona, where he started his career, after spending four years at Manchester United.

The centre-back seemed to struggle with the physicality of English football but he’s certainly surpassed expectations at the Blaugrana.

Pique was ready to become a first-team regular straight away; the only season in which he hasn’t made at least 40 appearances in all competitions came in 2013-14.

He’s won seven La Liga titles and the Champions League three times. Club legend.

Verdict: Hit


Aliaksandr Hleb | Arsenal | 2008

Hleb’s time as a Barcelona was a mess but one of his own doing.

“[Pep and I] would shout at each other,” the Belarussian told Catalunya Radio in 2015, per Goal.

“He expected one thing from me and I would’t do it and the way with which I would say ‘no’ was like a child. My judgement was clouded and I ignored him.

“It was my fault I didn’t continue at Barca, it was to do with my character. I was stressed because I had problems in my private life.”

Hleb was sent out on loan to Stuttgart, Birmingham City and Wolfsburg before his Barcelona contract was terminated in 2012.

Verdict: Miss

Barcelona v Chelsea - UEFA Champions League Semi Final

Javier Mascherano | Liverpool | 2010

Signed as a midfielder, Mascherano would quickly make a centre-back spot his own at Barca.

He won the Spanish title five times and the Champions League twice, making more than 300 appearances for the club.

Chinese club Hebei China Fortune ended Mascherano’s seven-and-a-half year stay at Barcelona in January 2018.

Verdict: Hit

FC Barcelona v Paris Saint-Germain - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg

Cesc Fabregas | Arsenal | 2011

Fabregas returned to Barcelona as a World Cup winner in the summer of 2011.

Barcelona paid Arsenal £23.2m for him and early signs suggested he would form a fine partnership with Lionel Messi, just as the pair did in the club’s youth teams.

But the Spaniard never settled in a single position, sometimes playing as a false nine, and was criticised by the fans for a perceived lack of commitment.

Fabregas contributed 42 goals and 48 assists in 151 matches for the club but he would return to the Premier League with Chelsea in 2014 without being the star that Barcelona had hoped for.

Verdict: Miss

FC Barcelona v RCD Mallorca - La Liga

Alex Song | Arsenal | 2012

This move appeared strange on paper and it didn’t really work for player or club.

Song spent two of his four years at Barcelona on loan at West Ham before leaving for Rubin Kazan in 2016.

Verdict: Miss

FC Cartagena v Barcelona - Copa del Rey: Round of 32

Thomas Vermaelen | Arsenal | 2014

Vermaelen became the eighth Arsenal player to move to Barcelona during Arsene Wenger’s reign in 2014.

The Belgian’s time in Spain has been riddled with injuries but he still finds himself at the club - he even played 90 minutes in the 1-1 draw against Tottenham Hotspur in December.

Verdict: Miss

FC Barcelona v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League Group B

Luis Suarez | Liverpool | 2014

Barcelona had to wait for Suarez’s debut - he was banned for the first part of the 2014-15 season after biting Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup - but it was worth the wait.

Suarez has been superb for Barcelona, adding the finishing touch to create the vaunted Messi-Suarez-Neymar front three and continuing to shine in the Brazilian’s absence.

He scored 59 goals in all competitions in 2015-16 - 40 of which came in La Liga - winning the European Golden Shoe and Pichichi Trophy in the process.

Overall, he’s netted 164 goals in 220 games for the club.

Verdict: Hit

FC Barcelona v Bayer 04 Leverkusen - UEFA Champions League

Denis Suarez | Manchester City | 2013

Suarez made just two first team appearances for Man City before Barcelona paid an undisclosed fee to sign him in 2013.

He spent the 2013-14 season playing for Barcelona B and was loaned out to Sevilla for the 2014-15 campaign.

Barca opted to sell him to Villarreal in 2015 but he was brought back a year later; he has served as a squad player ever since.

The 25-year-old could be on the move again, with Arsenal reportedly interested in him.

Verdict: Miss

Barcelona v Eibar - La Liga

Gerard Deulofeu | Everton | 2017

Deulofeu’s career never has taken off.

He made a name for himself for Barcelona B but never did enough to warrant an opportunity in the first team and was sold to Everton in 2015.

Two years later, Barcelona decided to bring him back.

Deulofeu managed just two goals in 17 appearances though and was sold to Watford in 2018.

Verdict: Miss

Barcelona v Real Betis - La Liga

Philippe Coutinho | Liverpool | 2018

It’s too early to consider Coutinho a flop but he’ll have to step it up if he wants to avoid that tag.

He made a positive start to his Barcelona career, netting 10 times in 22 appearances, but his sophomore season has been tough.

The Brazilian has found himself on the bench for the club’s last four La Liga matches and reports claiming he is already playing for his future are concerning.

Verdict: It’s too early

FC Barcelona v Athletic Club - La Liga
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