26-time La Liga champions and five-time European champions, FC Barcelona hit rock-bottom, following their 8-2 thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich in a single-legged Champions League quarter-final clash last week.
As a result, the Blaugrana ended the 2019-20 season without any silverware, having lost the La Liga title race to arch-rivals, Real Madrid earlier.
A string of poor transfer decisions, an inefficient board, along with dressing room politics have pushed the Catalans giants on the brink of losing their identity. Moreover, ageing players haven’t helped the team’s cause as half of the squad are well over 30 and past their prime.
But before making signings, Barcelona need to offload a number of their players. On that note, let us see which nine players Barcelona need to get rid of as soon as possible.
Barcelona want to offload their back-up goalkeeper, Neto, who joined the club from Valencia last summer. Marc-André ter Stegen, Barcelona’s first-choice between the sticks, was one of the club’s rare performers in an otherwise dismal campaign.
As a result, Neto struggled for game time and managed just five appearances across all competitions, conceding seven times and managing just a solitary clean sheet. It’s safe to say that Barcelona won’t be missing his services.
#2 Samuel Umtiti
After initially impressive following his move from Lyon in 2016, the French International’s form has gone downhill. Ending the season on the bench, Samuel Umtiti has struggled with injuries during his time at the Camp Nou.
Moreover, his continuous refusal to undergo surgeries has caused a considerable amount of friction between him and the club hierarchy, who want to part ways with the defender.
#3 Gerard Pique
Ever since Barcelona’s humiliating loss against Bayern Munich, Gerard Pique has been quite vocal about his future. In the post-match interview he said,
“If new blood needs to come for the club to change course then I’m not untouchable and I’ll be the first to leave if needs be, because it seems as if we’ve hit rock bottom.”
In the wake of his comments, Barcelona might consider selling the 33-year-old.
#4 Jordi Alba
It remains to be seen if Jordi Alba is in Ronald Koeman’s plans for next season or if he is made another scapegoat fot Barcelona’s disappointing 2019-20 campaign.
Although he still has a good understanding with Lionel Messi on the pitch, the 31-year-old’s performance has substantially declined for the last couple of seasons, and it is fair to say that his prime days are behind him.
#5 Sergio Busquets
At the age of 32 and well past his prime, La Masia graduate Sergio Busquets finds himself in a similar situation to Jordi Alba. With Miralem Pjanic set to feature for Barcelona next season, the Spaniard might have played his last game for the Catalan giants.
#6 Ivan Rakitic
Ivan Rakitic arrived from Sevilla six years ago and initially did well to help Barcelona cope with Xavi’s absence.
But at 33, the Croatian definitely has his best years behind him. Barca need fresh legs in their midfield, which lacked presence last season and should look for younger alternatives.
#7 Arturo Vidal
The Chile international, who joined from Bayern Munich two seasons ago, is another midfielder Barcelona want to sell this summer. The 33-year-old has thus far made 96 appearances for the Catalans, with 45 of those coming as substitutes.
He is not as fast as he used to be and Ronald Koeman would not think twice before putting Arturo Vidal’s name of the transfer list.
#8 Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez still remains a lethal weapon in the Barca attack, having scored 21 goals in 2019-20. The Uruguayan was the only Barcelona player to score against Bayern Munich in the 8-2 hammering, with the other being a David Alaba own-goal.
However, he will celebrate his 34th birthday in January and Barcelona would do well to replace him with someone younger like Inter’s Lautaro Martinez.
#9 Antoine Griezmann
Barcelona are open to selling French forward Antoine Griezmann this summer, just a year after he completed a £107m move from Atlético Madrid.
The Catalans spent close to a year trying to tempt Griezmann to join the club in order to fill the void created by Neymar’s departure.
However, Griezmann failed to hit the ground running in his first season at the Camp Nou as he managed just 15 goals in his 48 appearances. Barcelona might offload the World Cup winner in order to generate funds to bring Neymar back.