PETE JENSON: Barcelona are losing their identity as well as their best players

One day you are meeting Mino Raiola to debate signing Erling Haaland, and the following you are waving goodbye to Lionel Messi and flogging Antoine Griezmann again to the membership you obtain him from, at a £65million loss.

Barcelona’s disastrous summer season (it was April when Laporta met Raiola) ended on Tuesday night time with them shopping for Sevilla’s third-choice centre-forward Luuk de Jong.

The solely comfort was that with the departure of Messi and Griezmann they’d shaved round €85m (£73m) a year off the wage invoice. 

Luuk de Jong, a cast-off at Sevilla, has been brought in in his place by Barcelona

 Antoine Griezmann has been despatched again to Atletico Madrid and Barcelona signed Luuk de Jong

Barcelona have already seen Lionel Messi leave this summer to join Paris Saint-Germain

Barcelona have already seen Lionel Messi go away this summer season to affix Paris Saint-Germain

RB Leipzig also completed the signing of 18-year-old Ilaix Moriba from Barcelona for £14m

RB Leipzig additionally accomplished the signing of 18-year-old Ilaix Moriba from Barcelona for £14m

A membership that just lately declared a €1.3billion (£1.1bn) debt and a unfavourable web price of €450m (£387m) may do little else, however nonetheless it felt odd to see them rooting round within the discount bin as the lights dimmed and the switch window closed.

It’s been recommended they won’t miss Griezmann. 

It’s true he seemed torpid on the weekend and was whistled by some contained in the Nou Camp. But that state of affairs has solely come about as a result of he has been undermined since day one. 

Barca solely received one trophy final season – the Copa del Rey – and he was their best participant all through that competitors.

Spanish soccer analyst Fermin Suarez posted his stats on Twitter. He scored 35 targets and gave 16 assists in 102 video games. But 19 of his targets had been decisive, both the primary in a sport or placing Barca again in entrance. There had been 106 key passes too and he solely missed two matches due to damage.

Barcelona did not make his signing work and so they have despatched him to a rival membership. 

Not content material with serving to Atletico to win LaLiga final year they’ve made them favourites once more this time.

And it wasn’t simply Griezmann. Last season Ilaix Moriba impressed Ronald Koeman a lot that he gave the 18-year-old midfielder 14 video games. Barca couldn’t do sufficient to influence him to remain and so he goes to RB Leipzig. And they did not do away with their largest under-performing excessive earners. 

AS Diario described the news of Griezmann's return as a 'bomb'

Mundo Deportivo also led with the Frenchman's Barcelona exit on their front cover

Spanish papers reacted to the ‘bombshell’ information of Griezmann returning to the Spanish capital

Griezmann looked lethargic at the weekend and was whistled by some inside the Nou Camp

Griezmann seemed torpid on the weekend and was whistled by some contained in the Nou Camp

He returns to Atletico Madrid, where he was very successful, to play under Diego Simeone

 He returns to Atletico Madrid, the place he was very profitable, to play beneath Diego Simeone 

Samuel Umtiti and Philippe Coutinho had been each whistled by supporters as they warmed up on Sunday (Umtiti for no good purpose was whistled extra loudly than Coutinho) and so they had been players Barcelona needed to maneuver on. There had been no bids.

The arrival of De Jong on a season’s mortgage was confirmed at 3.30am native time by the membership within the early hours of this morning. 

Despite scoring solely 10 league targets in two seasons at Sevilla, De Jong did have his moments beneath Julen Lopetegui. 

But this summer season Sevilla upgraded to the youthful, hungrier and possibly extra prolific Rafa Mir. It’s a measure the place Barcelona are at now that they’ve taken Sevilla’s cast-off.

Koeman, at the least, will likely be proud of one other acquainted face. 

There is at all times the hazard the group turns into ‘too Dutch’. But Koeman has acquired Frenkie de Jong and Memphis Depay enjoying as well as any players in LaLiga in order that’s not excessive up on the membership’s downside checklist proper now. 

More urgent than him being one other Holland worldwide is that he barely suits the prototype urgent, nimble, glove-touch Barca ahead; they are losing their identity as well as their best players.

Ronald Koeman is overseeing an incredibly tricky period as Barca lose their stars and identity

Ronald Koeman is overseeing an extremely difficult interval as Barca lose their stars and identity

De Jong's arrival means it is another Dutch international that has arrived under Koeman

De Jong’s arrival means it’s one other Dutch worldwide that has arrived beneath Koeman

For all of the asset stripping, Koeman continues to be left with an inexpensive squad. 

In Marc Andre ter Stegen and Neto he has two good keepers. He is roofed at proper again with Sergino Dest and Oscar Mingueza. Gerard Pique, Eric Garcia and Ronald Araujo are prime central defenders and Jordi Alba stays at left again.

In midfield Pedri, Sergio Busquets, Sergio Roberto and Frenkie de Jong are sturdy and in the event that they each get match then Ansu Fati and Ousmane Dembele would kind an thrilling entrance three with Memphis Depay.

But Luuk de Jong, Martin Braithwaite and Sergio Aguero (if he ever performs for the membership) makes for an odd line-up of reserve forwards. And Miralem Pjanic and Riqui Puig, plus the superb however very inexperienced pair of 17-year-old Gavi and 19-year-old Nico Rodriguez hardly makes for power in depth in midfield.

Koeman complained final season that he did not have a group to problem for an excessive amount of – now with out Messi and Griezmann it is a surprise the place the season’s goal lies.

Temporarily gone are the times of aiming for a league and Champions League double. It will likely be all they will do to complete above Atletico Madrid and Sevilla, who rinsed them within the switch market and now look to have stronger squads than they do. 

Samuel Umtiti is surplus to requirements but Barcelona received no bids for him

Philippe Coutinho is one of the highest earners but Barcelona got no offers to sell him this summer

Barcelona’s concern was not with the ability to shift excessive earners like Samuel Umtiti (left) and Philippe Coutinho (proper) and each had been loudly jeered by Barcelona supporters on the weekend

Sergio Aguero is currently injured but he is part of a strange reserve set of strikers this season

 Sergio Aguero is presently injured however he’s a part of an odd reserve set of strikers this season

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