It’s not an exaggeration to suggest that the next transfer window could be one of the most important in FC Barcelona’s history.
It may coincide with new presidential elections, which in itself could cause huge issues given that there may be a change of manager with the new incumbent given hardly any time to secure new faces.
That said, the Catalans may not have the money to bring in any new signings.As it stands at the moment, there is the very real threat of the club being declared economically bankrupt, and perhaps certain player sales and wage reductions will be the only things keeping the wolf from the door for now.
To that end, whomever is in charge should take a broad view of who to keep and who to sell. Here are three players that could, and probably should, leave at the start of the new year.
As long as the Frenchman remains injury free until the end of the year, it’s time he was moved on.
He’s never too far from a few months out of the game, and though he’s worked hard to get back to full fitness, nothing has improved in terms of his output.
Dembele has pace to burn but that’s about it. Forever running down blind alleys, not getting enough accurate crosses in and not scoring goals.
For a player who is the third most expensive in Barca’s history, the club deserve better.
The other Frenchman who cost the club north of €100m, you have to feel for Antoine Griezmann.
He has worked harder than Dembele ever did, and in a variety of positions, but has never truly gelled at the club.
The frustration he must feel at consistently making superb runs in behind the opposition defence, only for the ball to be played out to the left each time…
Notwithstanding his natural ability and the desire to make a success of himself, he hasn’t done enough when given the opportunities.
The cost saving from a potential sale – to include wages – will be huge, not to mention that the club can cover for his absence, as they’ve already proved in games this season.
Unfortunately, it’s a French World Cup winning hat-trick with centre-back, Samuel Umtiti, also a liability for the club now.
After picking up a knee injury, Umtiti should just have allowed club doctors to operate. His decision to go down a more holistic route has backfired on him because consistent problems since mean he’s no longer a first choice.
Barca will get a reasonable amount for him, and with the emergence of Ronald Araujo, he won’t be missed.