Following an unsuccessful season, Barcelona announced their intentions to sell players in a major summer shake-up. This includes selling players such as Cesc Fabregas, Javier Mascherano, Pedro, Alex Song, Alex Sanchez, Dani Alves and Cristian Tello.
And whilst there are a few cogs to this Barcelona machine that may be deemed surplus to requirements, there are still some top players in this list. Some of the players Barcelona seem willing to part with are not ordinary players. They are Champions League winners; World Cup winners; players that most of the world’s top teams would be lucky to have. Yet they seem ready to sell the core of a team that cruised to the title last year.
The appearance of Cesc Fabregas on the list is perplexing. With Xavi now 33, Barcelona will soon look to replace his him and have a ready-made alternative. There is little need to preach the evident qualities of the former Arsenal midfielder. There is a reason that the Premier League’s top clubs are chasing the Spaniard. And although he has been scapegoated for much of Barcelona’s inadequacies this season, he still scored 13 goals and got 16 assists in all competitions this season.
Another surprising name is Alexis Sanchez. It was rather evident that Sanchez underperformed during his first two years at the Camp Nou, and certainly did not look anywhere near worth the £20m Barcelona forked out. Yet if there was ever a season for Sanchez to prove his worth at the club, this was it. 21 goals and 15 assists is a return to rival many top European forwards, Both he and Pedro managed to outscore Neymar this season.
Pedro has been a good servant to Barcelona having played at the club since the age of seventeen. Whilst not hitting the heights of the past few seasons, he still found the back of the net on 19 occasions. More importantly he is one of the few players that can work successfully in tandem with Lionel Messi.
Even players such as Alves, Mascherano and Alex Song still have something to offer.
Barcelona have a style of play and require players that are conducive to it. It is the reason they chose to promote internally, with both players and staff. Selling players such as Pedro and Fabregas who were brought up playing the Barcelona way is counter-intuitive to this.
Of course, Luis Enrique does have his own style of play and will no doubt look to recruit players capable of playing it. But to deplete his squad of such quality could prove to be a costly error.
Should Barcelona’s players make the move to other top clubs, they would only be strengthening their European rivals.
What must also be considered is the outcome of Barcelona’s appeal of their transfer ban. Should UEFA refuse it, Barcelona will be unable to purchase players which would pose a serious problem should they need to recruit after selling key players.
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