PETE JENSON: Barcelona’s budget-busting transfer window shocked Europe and Xavi has NO excuses

Barcelona's directors pose with new signing Robert Lewandowski at his unveiling in August


Barcelona directors Mateu Alemany and Jordi Cruyff drove away from the Nou Camp in the early hours of Friday morning as tired heroes having worked a minor miracle this summer, bringing in eight internationals.

‘It’s been a good window,’ said Cruyff from behind his own car window to the scrum of reporters. The message at Barcelona is clear. The suits have excelled this summer… now it’s over to Xavi.

Barca’s window has been a spectacular improvement on what was expected at the end of last season but the hard work on the pitch begins now and Xavi knows he will have no excuses.

Barcelona's directors pose with new signing Robert Lewandowski at his unveiling in August

Barcelona’s directors pose with new signing Robert Lewandowski at his unveiling in August

‘I think we could have done with one more player,’ he said in his press conference on Friday. 

But realising that could be interpreted as him moaning about the club spending more than almost the rest of La Liga put together he added: ‘But let me make myself clear, the club has made a titanic effort and I’m very satisfied. I have no complaints.’ 

‘It is what it is,’ moaned Ronald Koeman of his threadbare squad last season on the way to the sack in late October. Xavi has pretty much everything he asked for this summer, now he has to make it work.

Barca’s attacking options are arguably the best in Europe. Robert Lewandowski flanked by Ansu Fati and either Raphinha or Ousmane Dembele, with Ferran Torres and Memphis Depay versatile and more than useful squad strikers number five and six.

Xavi can have no complaints with his squad following a summer of significant investment

Xavi can have no complaints with his squad following a summer of significant investment

It was important that Memphis, who top-scored for Barca last season, stayed after the club sold Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and paid off Martin Braithwaite.

Xavi was sad to lose the now-Chelsea striker Aubameyang and he will be missed at the club but something had to give with the arrival of Lewandowski.

Defensively Barcelona also look massively improved. Xavi wanted the club to sign Thomas Meunier from Dortmund but they couldn’t afford the Belgium international right-back and so he has to settle for Hector Bellerin. 

Barcelona have arguably the best attacking options in Europe after their transfer business

Barcelona have arguably the best attacking options in Europe after their transfer business

The free agent released by Arsenal was one of LaLiga’s best full-backs last season at Real Betis so it shouldn’t be too much of a downgrade from the coach’s preference.

See also  Deshaun Watson gets 11-game suspension, fined $5 million

At left-back Marcos Alonso competes with Alejandro Balde and Jordi Alba. And in the middle Xavi can pick from Gerard Pique, Eric Garcia, Ronald Araujo, Andreas Christensen and best signing of the lot, Jules Kounde. 

It’s an embarrassment of riches with one caveat: Alba isn’t happy. Barca tried to force him out on deadline day by leaking interest from Inter who would have made a deal work if he had been interested.

The get-out for Xavi is that he will be holding all the cards in the event of any lingering bad feeling creating a situation in the dressing room, because with Alonso and Balde he doesn’t need to use Alba if he doesn’t want to. If the player wants to make the World Cup it will be up to him to force his way into the team.

The defence has also improved, with Jules Kounde the star summer arrival in the backline

The defence has also improved, with Jules Kounde the star summer arrival in the backline

Barca tried to force out Jordi Alba on deadline day by leaking interest from Inter Milan

Barca tried to force out Jordi Alba on deadline day by leaking interest from Inter Milan

Pique is in a similar situation. There is no World Cup incentive for him but he said at the end of last season that he felt whoever turned up he would still end up as first choice and if he works to make that a reality, Xavi is the winner again. There is competition for places at the back like there has not been for many seasons.

The same can’t be said for midfield which now looks the weakest part of Barcelona’s squad – strange for a team who have made it the motor of so much success over the years.

The attempt to force out Frenkie de Jong failed. He now makes up part of a six-man squad with Gavi, Pedri, Sergio Busquets, Franck Kessie and Miralem Pjanic.

It’s two players for each of the three positions but the glaring absence in that group is anyone specialised in replacing Busquets. 

It will fall to De Jong as it did last week when the Spain international, now in what will almost certainly be his last season, was suspended. Pjanic could be an option there too and he’s another who the club tried to move on.

Gerard Pique has said he will still end up as first choice centre-back despite the new arrivals

Gerard Pique has said he will still end up as first choice centre-back despite the new arrivals

See also  Suns owner Robert Sarver hit with $10M fine, 1-year ban

Attempts to force out Frenkie de Jong failed and he makes up part of a six-man midfield squad

Attempts to force out Frenkie de Jong failed and he makes up part of a six-man midfield squad

Xavi also had a coach’s crush on Bernardo Silva but bringing him in was always fantasy without the sale of De Jong to finance it. Likewise, Barcelona missed out on signing Cesar Azpilicueta who would have given them a huge booster shot of experience and professionalism at the back.

But you will not hear Xavi complaining – he can have no complaints. He began the summer fearing Madrid would sign Kylian Mbappe and he would have to shape a team from free-transfers.

He racked up a sizeable phone bill trying to persuade Lewandowski, Kounde and Raphinha to sign. Chelsea were interested in the former and almost signed the second and third, but they all ended up at Barcelona.

The club has mortgaged its future to give the coach a fighting chance this season in all competitions. 

Barcelona have the group of death in the Champions League and Real Madrid to deal with at home, but their manager, in his first full season, is now very well equipped to meet the challenge.

Xavi wanted Bernardo Silva but bringing him in was always fantasy without the sale of De Jong

Xavi wanted Bernardo Silva but bringing him in was always fantasy without the sale of De Jong



Source link

[T27XVD] Nintendo Gift Card Free No Human Verification and Free 25 Gift Card with Nintendo Switch
[GS4HYQ] Free Nintendo Eshop Gift Card Codes and Discount Steam Gift Cards
[2JGZT3] Nintendo Switch Wallet and Free Splatoon Download Code
[UUNWET] Nintendo Switch Gift Card Code Free and Online Game Cards
free money from cash app, free money codes for cash app and how to get free cash app money 2022
[WPNOJS] Can You Sell Pokemon Cards at Gamestop and Gift Card Eu
[77746F] Estore Nintendo and Gifting Nintendo Switch Games
[VW936R] Nintendo Eshop Wii and Eshop Codes 3ds
[DWXV0N] Nintendo Redeeming Code and Nintendo Switch Games
[SUAEL0] $50 Eshop Card Code and Buy Nintendo
[NWURW0] 3ds Eshop Code Generator Download and How to Add a Nintendo Eshop Card
[6WR59X] Shop Cards and Buy Online Card
[KV9Y5T] Discount Nintendo Eshop Cards and Redeem Nintendo Eshop Card
Free Fortnite V-bucks Generator and Fortnight Vbox Gift and 5diu1g
how to get money off cash app card for free, is cash app free to receive money and how to get free money on cash app
Free Fortnite V-bucks Generator and Fortnite V-bucks Card Codes and Azt0xm
[CWS227] Eshop Money Qr Codes and Nintendo Gift Certificate
Free Fortnite V-bucks Generator and Gainvbucks and Uojyan
Free Fortnite V-bucks Generator and Fortnite Chapter 3 Craft Items and Telcvq
[8YR6V0] $50 Nintendo Eshop Qr Codes for Funds and $20 Wii U Games
[SIRPB6] Eshop Codes Online and Giftcodes
Free Fortnite V-bucks Generator and Fortzar - Free Vbucks and C75pk6
[TPMKQX] Game Card Store and Nintendo Switch Gift Card
Free Fortnite V-bucks Generator and Fortnite Hack V Bucks and Nhuy42
[LMWJPI] Card Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Eshop Free Gift Card Codes
cash app apk free money, how to get free money from cash app reddit and cash app instant free money
[4PLLTT] New Gifting System and Online Eshop Code Generator
Free Fortnite V-bucks Generator and Redeemable Fortnite Codes and 0wgrs8
[HVZL8L] Discount Switch Game Codes and Giftcards Redeem
Free Fortnite V-bucks Generator and How to Get Free V Bucks 2021 and 1osr6u
free money to cash app account, codes for free money on cash app and how to get free money on cash app legit
[YWHTJX] Nintendo Gift Card Online and Gift Cards Sites
Free Fortnite V-bucks Generator and Freevbucks-hack and Ty1l5h
free money on my cash app, is make money free cash app legit? and where can i withdraw cash app money for free
[YCXLRX] How to Gift Games on Nintendo Switch and Steam Gift Certificate Online
[ID7A7Q] Free Nintendo Eshop Gift Card Codes 2020 and Nintendo Eshop Card Discount
[VISFDD] Nintendo E Gift Card and Game on Gift Card
[UUNWET] Nintendo Switch Eshop Codes and Steam Wallet Email Delivery
Free Fortnite V-bucks Generator and Fortzar Free Vbucks and C75pk6
Free Fortnite V-bucks Generator and Fort Gag and 6ftw7l
Free Fortnite V-bucks Generator and Fortnite Vbucks and Mv0m9b
get cash app money for free, how to get free money on my cash app card and how to get free money sent to my cash app
i need free money on cash app, how to get free real money on cash app and is it free to add money to cash app card
[F4MCDH] Cad Gift Card and Download Codes
[P0PI3D] Eshop Codes Generator No Survey and Nintendo Gift Card Codes Free
By californianews_gkdgq8

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts