Having had a successful loan spell throughout the 2018/19 season, it was no surprise that Barcelona’s Marc Cucurella wanted to stay at Eibar.
The youngster had impressed, particularly in the games against the bigger sides in the Spanish top flight, and he even had the audacity to score against his parent club at the end of the campaign.
Eibar, quite rightly, exercised their purchase option on the player, a measly €2m, but Barca then utilised their buy-back clause to secure him for €4m.With the Catalans crying out for decent back-up for Jordi Alba, here was a homegrown, young player, with all of the attributes required, costing a pittance.
And yet, the club have considered it necessary to sell him on, with Getafe the buyers for in excess of double what Barca have brought him back for.
Clearly, the Catalans need to recoup funds where they can after signing Antoine Griezmann, Frenkie De Jong and Neto, and with Neymar also expected.
But Cucurella’s fee is a drop in the ocean in comparison.
He’s made for the role that Barca need, making a potential pursuit of Atletico Madrid’s Filipe Luis even more odd.
Junior Firpo is another player who has been mooted, but he would require a settling in period at the Camp Nou which isn’t something Barcelona can afford if Alba were to get injured soon after the start of the season for instance.
Of course, the wider issue here is the capabilities of La Masia graduates.
Time and again, Barcelona are either allowing talent to slip through their fingers – for a variety of reasons – or they’re just not good enough.
Only Carles Alena has pushed into the senior squad from Barca B in the recent past with Riqui Puig knocking on the door alongside Moussa Wague.
Puig was once described by then AC Milan coach, Gennaro Gattuso, as “spectacular.”
Not spectacular enough for Ernesto Valverde or the club it seems, and he’ll find it even harder this season to break into Barca’s midfield, given that there is already the likes of Busquets, Arthur, Rakitic, De Jong, Alena, Arturo Vidal and Sergi Roberto all vying for a place.
Not to mention Rafinha Alcantara and Philippe Coutinho should both not be sold in the current window.
Overstocked in midfield and not enough cover at left-back, there really isn’t a valid reason why Barcelona wouldn’t welcome Cucurella back with open arms.
Perhaps he’ll give them a timely reminder of what they’re missing when he returns to the Camp Nou with his new employers…