9,275 total views, 1 views today
Another transfer market has come and gone. Although the big moves usually wait until the summer window, January can also bring surprises for the European soccer landscape. And that’s where FC Barcelona comes in to play. After a more than difficult first half of the season for the Catalans, the transfer window was an opportunity for the Xavi’s side to bring players that could help turn around the situation of the club. And what a month it was.
The January transfer market actually started earlier for Barça this time around. Right-back and Blaugranas legend Dani Alves was the first signing of the winter for Barcelona, and it was official as early as November 12th. The second signing for Barcelona was Ferran Torres, who came from Manchester City on a deal close to sixty-two million dollars. The third was the return of academy player and Spanish international Adama Traoré, and lastly although not official yet, the ex-captain of English team Arsenal, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang became the fourth and last signing of Barça this month. So could this be considered a success?
Yes and no. Definitely, the signing of these four players, and the exit of players like Philippe Coutinho and Yusuf Demir, two of which Xavi didn’t count with, give Barcelona an extra edge to embark in the second half of the season and meet the needs of the team. Definitely, Ferran Torres comes as the most positive of them all. An important piece of the puzzle in Luis Enrique’s Spain, Ferran comes from being a year and a half under the coaching of Pep Guardiola, hence his adjustment to the Barça style should come as a no-brainer. His first goal in the defeat against Athletic de Bilbao in the Copa del Rey already shows how important he can be for Xavi’s team. The same can be said about Alves. Although the Brazilian may not have the physique to play every game, he brings the experience and the charisma that the right-back position has been missing in recent years at Barcelona. He can also act as a mentor for Sergiño Dest, although is not one of Xavi’s favorite players, maybe he can change the coach’s mind under Dani’s wings.
Is in Adama and Aubameyang where the doubts start to float in. Although Adama comes from Barcelona academy, his style of play is characterized to be electric and powerful, one of the reasons why he found a suitable home in the Premier League. But can his style be of use for Barça? With Ousmane Dembélé practically out of the contest for a starting position, Traoré might be the one that has to bring the different spark in games that Barcelona simply cannot open. The problem is that he comes from a first half in Wolves with really poor numbers, and he would have to change that dynamic as soon as he steps on the field.
The same happens with Aubameyang. Arguably one of the best forwards in the Premier League since his arrival to Arsenal, this season has been more than disastrous for the Gabonese. Separated from the Gunner team by Mikel Arteta, and coming with heart complications after having the Covid-19, Aubameyang has barely played this season. Now he comes to Barcelona with the mission of bringing the goals that Memphis Depay and Luuk De Jong are not contributing with. Can he leave those harsh moments behind, or are we seeing a Kevin-Prince Boateng situation all over again? Only time would tell, but these four players need to bring their A-game as soon as possible…if not, Barça is in big problems.