Barcelona’s summer transfer window can be likened to turbulence on an airplane.
A seemingly cruisy trip awaiting a safe landing – being the start of the 2017/18 season – only to be rattled by harsh and violent disturbances which, for Barcelona, came in the form of Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain.
The Parisians snatched one of their prised assets right out of their hands, one of the vital components for the ‘MSN’ trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
That trio is now just a memory, as are the semblances of sanity regarding transfer fees, as Neymar’s €222 million move to PSG has tossed whatever rule-book there appeared to be on transfers right off the face of the earth.
Barcelona did manage to land that plane I was rambling about earlier, kind of, in the form of Borussia Dortmund forward Ousmane Dembele.
The Frenchman comes in to replace Neymar, albeit after some childish antics like skipping out on Borussia Dortmund training sessions, but he is just a kid after all. A kid with some really, really big responsibilities.
Ousmane Dembele will be helped by the likes of Gerard Deulofeu, Nelson Semedo and Paulinho in what was, shall we say, not the greatest summer window in the history of the club.
In fact, following a recent injury to Luis Suarez and a short-term injury to Ivan Rakitic, it’s fair to say that Barcelona just don’t seem as intimidating as they used to.
Is that a stretch of the imagination, though, considering that Neymar was the only major exit at the club? Or was the ‘MSN’ trio truly that necessary for any chance they had at winning La Liga or the UEFA Champions League?
Ranking – D
Overall, Barcelona endured a miserable window, one that their fans will be delighted to see the back of. They’ll want to just get straight into the action, which Barca have done with back-to-back wins in La Liga, though we’ll have to wait and see if the likes of Ousmane Dembele, Paulinho and Nelson Semedo have what it takes to succeed at one of the biggest clubs in world football.
Otherwise, the loss of Neymar is a representation of the shambolic management of the club behind the scenes. Sure, superstar players come and go, but the manner in which Barcelona were caught off-guard by PSG’s swift movement, and subsequent failure to land targets Marco Verratti and Philippe Coutinho shows a lack of direction at the club, one which Real Madrid will be sure to take full advantage of.