Barcelona Were unable to sign centre-back or forward
As moves for Eric Garcia and Memphis Depay both faltered on deadline day, Barcelona were left facing the reality that for all their work in the summer, they’d signed just one new player in Sergino Dest, yet Ronald Koeman has confirmed he is happy with his squad and that he accepts the economic reality facing the Blaugrana at this time.
After the calamity that was the 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, it was obvious that a cultural reset was needed at the club. Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Nelson Semedo, Arturo Vidal and Arthur Melo were all shipped out of the club, whilst very little was done in terms of reshaping the team.
Ansu Fati is getting better and better all the time, however Dest’s arrival has had to be supplemented by returning loan players such as Pedri, Philippe Coutinho and Francisco Trincao. “I’m happy with the squad we have,” Koeman explained in an interview with Barca TV. We have tried to improve it in some areas, and we were successful at some points and not so in others”.
“This is also part of the club’s financial situation; we have to accept that and learn to work with it.” Los Cules’ start to the season has been generally positive, with victories over Villarreal and Celta Vigo impressing supporters, yet the draw with Sevilla brought home some uncomfortable truths for the Dutch coach.
“We have had three games, against Villarreal and Celta we were very good, against Sevilla, a top team who will fight for the top positions, the physical wear on us was clear,” he added. “The performance against Sevilla wasn’t what we wanted”.
“We must improve, but we have to also recognise that we have only been working with this new system for five weeks, like any coach you always crave more time.”
Ansu Fati has been the star of Barcelona’s LaLiga Santander campaign to this point, establishing himself as one of the first names on the team sheet, yet Koeman is eager for the Spaniard to keep improving.
“We’re talking about a player who is only 17 years old, he has played three matches in a row at the highest level, which means he is very good,” he confirmed. “He is a talent, but he has to learn a lot more but I think he wants to do that. We’re here to help him, I think that there isn’t any other player in the world at that age who is in the senior team.”