Willian, transfer price, perception, pointlessness

In 2017, FC Barcelona’s revenue was almost 800 million. In 2018, FC Barcelona’s revenue was more than 900 million. By 2020, the club is projected to be over a billion in annual revenue.

Let’s say you make 40,000 per annum, and you decide to buy a suit. A decent one, that is about 400 bucks. You take some friends to shop with you, and one says, “Don’t do it. 400 for that suit is a disaster.” Is it?

Willian. We hear the rumors, we hear the rumored price, and people lose their minds. One Twitter commentator called that deal at that a price a “disaster,” which means we probably will need a new word for things that cause loss of life and widespread damage. Let’s assume the rumors are true, that FC Barcelona is going to pay 80m for a 30-year-old player. Where does that sit in the club’s fiscal context, and do big clubs require that we reconsider notions of numbers and what they mean, even aside from the accounting boondoggles that club managers engage in.

Context matters. If you are buying that suit on the day you have lost your job, that isn’t a prudent decision, short-term. But let’s say that suit lets you make a nice enough presentation where you land a 60,000 per annum job? Money well spent, right? Big picture.

It isn’t that long ago that Sandro Rosell took over the presidency of FC Barcelona, and took Joan Laporta to task. Revenue then was almost 400m. Yikes. So how do we think about money, players and sums spent for them? Can we even wrap our minds around the sums required? It’s difficult, so we apply parameters to them. “He’s 30, it’s bad value,” or “What will his salary be, how will that affect ratios,” because we need context that we can get our heads around.

The basic reality is that for a club that makes what FC Barcelona does, 80m isn’t a lot for a player. If that player helps the club win Champions League as a theoretical, what is his value then? When Paulinho was signed for 40m, people lost their minds. Again, it was context. 29 years old. Tottenham failure. China league. The worst paramaters are always applied. Nobody said, “In context, 40m isn’t that much, particularly in the current price structure,” or “He’s a starter for Brazil,” then considered the best NT in the world.

Fools like me said that 40m is the new 15m in the current transfer market structure, but monies spent on players depends on ambition and how supporters feel about a transfer. 140m for Dembele could be considered sillier than 80m for Willian. Dembele had a good season at Rennes, went to Dortmund, had another good season, et voila. Willian has been kicking ass since Shakhtar, was an integral part of the Chelsea championship team. He tore Barça a new one in Champions League play, stood out for Chelsea this Premiership season past and sparkled for Brazil at the World Cup.

Yet of necessity, we must consider the worst. He’s 30, erratic and expensive. The rumored transfer is stupid. Reality is that it doesn’t matter. FC Barcelona isn’t going to have to declare bankruptcy any time soon. We don’t like it? Okay. That and a couple of bucks will get a cup of coffee. Are we going to stop supporting the club because it was silly enough in our eyes to spend 80m for a mercurial 30-year-old? Naaaah. We’re going to take to social media and spend a few cents’ worth of bandwitch grousing and pissing about it, which will change reality not an iota. And when Willian scores goals, we won’t not cheer them because it was a stupid transfer that cost more than we believed that it should.

As a construct, price is in many ways a function of perception. Paulinho is a great footballing example. For 40m, what did Barça get? A player integral in helping the club win a domestic double. Value? More than fair. And then he flitted back to China in a deal that will make the club 10m. So he helped win trophies AND turned a profit. Not bad for a 29-year-old never was.

Coutinho cost 160m. Worth it? Is he twice as good as Willian? Will he be twice as effective in helping the team achieve its goals as Willian? No. But we like Coutinho, like the transfer, like his age and what he represents. So good on yer, FC Barcelona. You got the player you needed, and a little expensive? Okay. But nobody is calling that deal stupid business, or a disaster, which demands (not begs … stop that) the question of price as related to perception.

The rumored price for Willian is stupid because of his age, his current club (don’t lie) and perception. Now for 30m? Now we’re talking, right? But he’s still 30, so what changes? His skills are still a constant, but the idea of a bargain is now in play. That 400 suit is on sale for 200, and you don’t even think twice about snapping it up. It’s a quite good thing for a number that makes more sense in your mind. That is transfers.

None of the prices in the transfer market make sense, and player value is an arbitrary construct. Clubs apply numbers based on a player’s accomplishment and what a potential buying team will need. A player such as Willian, judiciously used, can play for another two seasons at his current level. Then what? Who cares? Because big clubs aren’t selling clubs.

Sevilla snapped up Clement Lenglet for a fraction of what they sold him for. If his talent is as true as we think, 35m will prove to be a bargain. The Ter Stegen fee was a steal. So was the Umtiti fee. The club took a risk, and was rewarded. Usually selling clubs take that risk, then charge a premium for the risk, based on player profile. Big clubs buy a player, use him up or see him tank, then get him out of the door when no longer needed or effective. Up sides or bottom lines don’t matter.

“Real Madrid sold Ronaldo for 100m,” many will say, citing good business. It was great business for RM. They get the salary off the table, lose a player who was holding back the starting XI and move on to the next phase. Could they have gotten more for Ronaldo? Of course. Some will say that 100m was bad business, but not from any rational context. Almost every transfer that a big club does won’t be beneficial to the big club. There are rare exceptions, such as when Barça sold Toure Yaya, Pedro Rodriguez or Alexis Sanchez.

We scream when the Villas or Alveses leave on a free, but what is their real value? We apply arbitrary numbers, based on our affection for a player. Market reality is the biggest value of those players for the big club is getting the salary off the books so that they can spend it on someone else. Whatever fee is paid for Willian, assuming any truth at all to rumor, will be sent down the drain as regards resale value. He and most transfers for big clubs are that new car that is worth 40 percent less as soon as you drive it off the lot, then depreciates from there. Get used to it. Or not.

People say 50m for Frenkie De Jong is a bargain. Why? He hasn’t been proven at the top level yet, hasn’t seen the crucible of a big club, of World Cup play or European knockouts. A bargain why? Perception. Talent, youth, pedigree carry the day there, and supporters like that transfer, therefore it isn’t a risk, even as it is a huge one. Arthur, however much the social media campaigns tell us to enjoy him, we have no idea about. Almost 40m for a player unproven in the biggest stage? No risk, because Arthur is cool, a profile needed, controller, blablabla. Perception.

What kind of value might a player such as Willian have brought, coming off the bench against Roma? Hell, Dembele almost turned the table and he isn’t near Willian’s level yet. Ah. Short-term thinking? Of course it is. Supporters, sponsors, players, eveyone wants the club to win now. We talk about wasting the dwindling time that Messi has left, then crap on the idea of a very useful player who should help maximize that time. What do we want, really?

We don’t know what will happen with Willian, or any other rumnored Barça transfer this summer. But it’s worth reconsidering our ideas about price, value and how we assign those to players. Willian for 80m would make me scream and say things like “Silly,” or “WTF?!” But why, and what is the justification?

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Written by:

In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.

50 Comments

  1. Rivaldo
    July 20, 2018

    Applause…

    Really well written article Kevin! You hit the nail on the head. It is ok to clamour for Iniesta staying but Willian is too old.

    Too much “feelings” among fans instead of objectivity – looking at the quality of the player, their track record, who’s available, the team’s short comings – note that with no new centre forward coming we need creators and goal scoring wings – Willian ticks those boxes. Who in our youth teams does that?

    Love that!

  2. luisthebeast
    July 20, 2018

    Club paid 60m and Eto in 2009 for a 28y old Ibra and after a year they paid 40m for a 28y old Villa who played good for almost 1 and a half season.So in just 2 summers Laporta paid 100m that in current market would be like 200m.
    So cules must stop that fairytale that Laporta did great and this board bad.If Laporta had not that great generation he would do same good and bad that happens today.
    And then there was no Oil money,no PL power like today and Perez was nt at madrid until 2009.
    I am not defending the board but lets face reality,club cant pay almost 10% of incomes to Messi,almost 70-75m a year and same time to sign the best and to promote Masia and win and blah blah.
    Now the starting poing for a player is 50m and maybe for a GK or a CB.
    Put the salary that club must offer for 5 years and you just have around 80m for a just ok player.
    I am not pro or vs Willian,just like i was nt vs Dembele or Coutinho or Gomes.
    If they deliver or not it s up to them their work their adaptation and the job of the coaching stuff.
    If you want a WC to deliver you must pay 150 .
    If you want to risk you pay 50m for DeJong or 60m for De Ligt or 70m for Thiago.
    But then you dont have other money and you block the way of Masia boys.

  3. luisthebeast
    July 20, 2018

    Cules spend so much time on Internet to say that Willian is a bad transfer,that club must buy Thiago and all that.
    I cant find a reason why Denis is a Barca player or why Roberto play at RB or why we dont have a LW.
    But what to do,i accept that and hope for the best.
    I cant change anything and i support the club whatever happens.
    If Willian comes or Thiago,that i dont want him,i will hope for the best.

  4. July 21, 2018

    Excellent post.

    I really hope the Willian rumours are true. I have always liked him, even before he consistently gave me anxiety vs Chelsea last year. The market is what it is and if you want quality players then you have to pay for them and Willian is a quality player, who at 30 years of age is in his prime and who i believe can give a great boost to the team for the next 2-3 years. Not just his skill, pace and goal scoring ability but his work rate off the ball.

    Rumours I am hearing seem to be anywhere from 60-80m euro and frankly I do not think any price in that range (even 80m) is so absurd for a high quality, proven player. It is also not just the price you are paying for Willian, but also the price you are paying to give Dembele the time and freedom to grow into the superstar we all hope he can become. Willian will remove the immediate pressure on him to perform, will give him another experienced quality player to learn from and will provide healthy competition.

    Honestly I do not see many down sides to this and really hope they pull it off.

    • georgjorge
      July 21, 2018

      Good points in your first paragraph, but I don’t understand the benefit for Dembélé. If anything, bringing in another player of a kinda-similar type in a team where everyone struggles for starting spots is not likely to take pressure off him – quite the opposite. Which opens up the old conundrum of how much time to give a player (especially one with Dembéle’s price tag) to grow into the team, and how much you demand from him after a year (more like a half given his various injuries last season).

  5. luisthebeast
    July 21, 2018

    It s all about price after all,cules have no problem if an average player like Denis is part of the squad because he was a cheap transfer but a top player like Willian is a bad move because the club will pay much money.
    Same time they dont have problem to say “sign 27y old injury prone Thiago”,who warmed the bench of Bayern and Spain or 28y old Pjanic.
    But i say ok guys,lets go to next season with only 1(one)winger,fuck Willian,we have Dembele,he will play all games.

  6. luisthebeast
    July 21, 2018

    And about age,we all watched a 33y old Modric run games at WC and be great.
    We are not in 1950 anymore,if a player works and going to gym to do extra work can play until 35 and be great.
    I know cules are nt used to that because in Barca it seems players dont fancy that extra work.

  7. luisthebeast
    July 21, 2018

    I am tired of twitter and all these Cruyffistas Guardiolistas and whateveristas.
    All day moaning and whining and the same things,they praise a player like Samper who is a Granada level at best and talks shit about a WC player like Kante.
    It seems that scoring goals in football for cules is overrated,main thing is to pass the ball around.

  8. luisthebeast
    July 21, 2018

    Tbf i believe Barca will not sign Willian.Neither Rabiot.
    They cant get decent money for Lucho super transfers like Turan Vidal Gomes Digne Paco.
    Only a player brought money and it was Paulinho.
    Valverde is a poor man,he must work with what he have and some B team players and he would be the main victim of next season if things go wrong.
    No money no honey.

  9. mvarfi
    July 21, 2018

    At this point I’m a bit more concerned about Barca not being able to find new homes for the players Valverde considers a surplus. I’m on the fence about Willian’s rumors.

    On a different note, I didn’t like Yerry Mina complaining about lack of game time and the amount of pressure at Barcelona only four months in (his first training session was on 1/13 and Barca’s last game of the season was on 5/20). He did well in Russia and maybe that gave him the confidence to sound a little entitled and test the waters for other prospects. Clearly his expectations were a tad off. I was curious to see how he would develop, but I’m not sure I’d mind him moving on to a less stressful and less competitive environment now.

  10. luisthebeast
    July 21, 2018

    Just a question,if people dont want Willian are we need a RW or not?Are we going to next season with only Dembele there?
    They say sign a young player there.But who young will come when there is Dembele?
    I try to understand the logic of cules.And i cant.

  11. luisthebeast
    July 21, 2018

    Haha City offers 100m for the 28y old soon 29 Pjanic and the same people who whine every day about bad Willian are saying what a great signing would be for City!
    Good for Juventus btw they would take the money they spend for Ronaldo and run!

  12. luisthebeast
    July 22, 2018

    In football except work and talent and all that,you need luck.
    Pep found the greatest generation of Masia when he came as 1st team coach.
    Lucho found MSN and some of the greats of Pep team.
    Valverde found Digne Andre Denis and Paco.

  13. luisthebeast
    July 22, 2018

    Maybe he is a coward.I would be too if i had that squad.
    Club wants to sell some players and the best offer is close to 20m for Digne.

  14. Adekay
    July 23, 2018

    i am also one of those people who did not like the willian to barca transfer rumour, but this piece has enlightened me in various ways.
    “Now for 30m? Now we’re talking, right? But he’s still 30, so what changes? His skills are still a constant, but the idea of a bargain is now in play. That 400 suit is on sale for 200, and you don’t even think twice about snapping it up. It’s a quite good thing for a number that makes more sense in your mind”. This is d part that really opened up my mind, age is the only excuse we have but we forget age should npt define the limit. The annoying thing presently, is cules asking for the board sto sign pedro! can you believe that? a guy who was kicked out of WC squad by rodrigo and aspas

  15. TITO
    July 23, 2018

    What i don’t understand is how the hell are we selling Mina to Everton for just 17 mill euros in this inflated market???
    Isn’t he worth more, or could be worth more in a near future??

    • Adekay
      July 23, 2018

      this is a thing about this club i dont like, they dont know how to sell players for the right price. i just hope they are wise enough to place a buy back clause

  16. luisthebeast
    July 23, 2018

    Except that the club cant sell players to get money now we have 30y old Busquets and Alba to want a payrise.After the new contract of Messi and with club have huge wages i would like the club to not give that.
    If you want to stay it s ok,after all Busi contract ends in 2021,he will be 33 by then so nobody would want to buy him.

  17. luisthebeast
    July 23, 2018

    News around that Barca will not pay more than 35m for Willian.
    Cant wait next season when Valverde will play 4-4-2 because he have no wingers and cules would say that he is a coward:-)

  18. Adekay
    July 23, 2018

    I got this on skysport as at 14:34 (W.A.T). “Barcelona have put in an improved £64.2m bid for Willian but Manchester
    United have scuppered Chelsea’s hopes of replacing him with Anthony Martial, according to the London Evening Standard.
    Chelsea are reportedly holding out for £70m for Willian having rejected £53m last week.
    Martial, meanwhile, is not for sale, according to the report, but is also wanted by Tottenham and Bayern Munich.”

  19. luisthebeast
    July 23, 2018

    Smart move by Barca,if they tried to sign Malcom,Bordeaux would ask 60m,now they had a deal with Roma for 36m so they offered 41m.
    Not that i have any idea if he is any good.

  20. luisthebeast
    July 23, 2018

    Hahaha Wikipedia is trolling,i checked Malcom and they say he plays for Italian Club Barcelona!

  21. July 24, 2018

    Haha. Well you just have to love this time of year! All this talk of Willian, Hazard, Pogba, etc and then Malcom (who tbh I had never even heard of not being a regular watcher of Lique 1) pops up out of the blue.

    Anyone know anything about him? I do not usually like using youtube vids as a way to judge a player but at this point they are my only reference. His main attributes seem to be blistering pace, the ability to play on either wing, good passing and one hell of a long shot.

    • luisthebeast
      July 24, 2018

      I read two articles at Guardian and Independent for Malcom,except his qualities thar are pace and dribbling i liked that he is a hard working guy witth a winning mentality back from his teenager days at Corinthians.

  22. luisthebeast
    July 24, 2018

    Wow that was fast,Malcom is a Barca player for around 42m.
    So until now club spend around over 100m,i guess some sales is coming in next days,i expect Mina,Gomes to be sold.

  23. luisthebeast
    July 24, 2018

    I have to admit that this was a masterpiece by FC Barcelona.
    A player that if Barca was trying to sign would cost over 60m in this crazy market.
    I critisize when they do bad deals but Malcom,Arthur and the Paulinho sale are great business.

  24. Víctor
    July 24, 2018

    Well, it was well played by Barcelona… it’s true, had they asked for Malcolm in the first place the price would be way higher… $ 50M at least…

    However, it still seems unethical and way pricky.

    Chelsea ended up being the bitter losers here… they could have gotten around $ 60M for a 30 year old winger… Roma ended up losing as well, but not as much, they didn’t lose a potential big sale and can still look for a winger…

    • Víctor
      July 24, 2018

      Either way, unethical or not… it is also true that Barcelona didn’t put a gun on Malcolm’s head or threaten him or his family in any way… so, yes, Roma’s fans will be mainly mad at Barcelona… but, Barça isn’t the sole culprit for this, reportedly Bordeaux blocked the move to Roma after Barça’s bid… and the player must have agreed for that. So there…

      Something similar happened to us last year with Neymar. We didn’t want to sell him, but he and PSG insisted… and there was a release clause so… what else was left to do?

      As a final note: Barcelona should still be kinda wary when it comes to Malcolm. If he indeed broke his word to Roma then he may do the same to us in the future…

  25. luisthebeast
    July 24, 2018

    I will do some hyphothetical math.
    If club sell Mina for 40m and Gomes for 30 then the income from sales will be around 130m.
    Until now they spend 105m.
    So if they had a budget of 50-60m,i guess they will spend around 75-80m for a MF.

  26. luisthebeast
    July 25, 2018

    Barca did anything unethical,they offered more money and thats that.
    What i would never want the club to do is to took advantage of another club weird situation and sign a player for free like Atletiko did with Martins.
    That is unethical and pricky.

    • Víctor
      July 25, 2018

      It seems unethical because, apparently, Roma and Bordeaux had already reached an agreement on that transfer. Verbal agreement, which in practice is still just a promise…

      That’s why I think it seems unethical. It’s not like Barcelona got late for the bidding war but there wasn’t any agreement yet…

      Either way, there are some stories saying that Barcelona was trying to get a deal for Malcom since a month ago… so, if that’s the case, then it changes the narrative.

      After all, it also looked strange that this board could get a deal done in less than a day.

  27. luisthebeast
    July 25, 2018

    Again,people try to make this board looks much worse than they are.
    If they had get Martins for free cules would be mad that the club made that move and took advantage of another club problems.And right so they would had that view.
    Now that Atletiko did it it s a smart move and blah blah.
    They wanted Malcom,they made an offer and they signed him.
    It s not that they kidnapped the boy or blackmailed him.

  28. mvarfi
    July 26, 2018

    Barcelona wouldn’t need to apologize to Roma, as it has, if it deemed Malcom’s signing a clean move. If only what goes around doesn’t come around. I hope the signing turns out to be as shrewd as it’s ruthless.

  29. luisthebeast
    July 26, 2018

    Abidal looks to know very well how to work and make the team stronger,i liked his quotes at Malcom presentation.

  30. luisthebeast
    July 27, 2018

    If Digne get sold i hope the club would try to sign a young talented LB from Brazil or France league,there are young talents out there.
    Miranda is too young and Cucurella cant be a back up.
    As Alba getting older he needs strong competition and not only a B team player with limited quality.

  31. luisthebeast
    July 27, 2018

    Cules really are trying hard to say that we need a better squad and bashing players like Andre or Digne but when you say Denis is average they answer “oh well he was a cheap transfer” or “Cucu is from Masia,he deserves a chance”
    First,i dont give a shit how much was the price of a player,i care about his quality as he is part of squad and he get paid millions every year.
    Strong squad means every player at any time can play in any game and he have the quality to play.
    Denis is an average player and he must go.
    Second if a Masia player doesnt have the quality cant be a part of squad just because he is a Masia player.
    I watched some B team games and Cucu is nowhere close to play for 1st team.

  32. luisthebeast
    July 27, 2018

    I made a research of Barca transfers between 2003-2018.
    It s two parts i wanted to look,Laporta years and current board.
    From 2003-2010 club signed 35 players spending 474m and gain 153m from sales.
    There were great signings like Ronaldinho,Eto,Henry,Toure,Pique,Alves.
    There were flops like Ezquerro,Maxi Lopez,Zambrotta,Thuram,Hleb,Keirisson,Henrique,Chigrinskiy.
    From 2010-2018 club spend 1,015b and gain 576m from sales.
    There were great signings like Macherano,Alexis,Neymar,Suarez,Rakitic,Ter Stegen,Umtiti,Dembele,Coutinho.
    And flops like Song,Douglas,Turan,Vidal.
    General for me no big difference.

    • Jassper
      July 28, 2018

      As it stands, barca board get all the blames for no reason, thy haven’t done anything wrong this summer
      At least there’s gonna be some additional sales before Aug 9, and I don’t think anyone is coming in for now, so for me its good business…

  33. khaddafi
    July 28, 2018

    I don’t really have a problem with the price of the player but I have a great problem with his play patter and most especially his age.

    While we actually needed a central midfielder that can control and dictate the play, the board is prioritizing a 30 year old winger. Why not lay that investment on Pjanic if we must buy old player. Why not on Thiago?

    Madrid didn’t buy a single meaningful player in almost 3years yet they won the CL in 4 out of 5 years. That goes to show the investment they’ve made in young talents. And they still keep buying young talents below 23.

    We are buying a 30years old winger while we let the fine wing talents like Jordi Mboula leave and José Anaiz is about to go.

    We have a 32years old now inconsistent striker and yet we let a young super hot striker from academy leave.

    So if we make a billion in revenue now means we shouldn’t have the sense of how to be judicious with its spending.

    The fact is that transfer policy under bartomeu has been a disaster from day one. Thus is the same way Kxevin defended the purchase of the likes of Gomes, Alcácer etc.

    More than half of our great first team players are on the wrong side of 30 without meaningful replacements Suarez, Messi, Rakitic, Busquets, pique, alba.

    And we still want to buy another 30year old only to discard after 1 year like Paulinho.

    This is not smart at all. Thank God we couldn’t buy him and got Malcom instead.

  34. luisthebeast
    July 29, 2018

    Wow after a friendly game and cules say things like “wow why we bought Malcom,Rafinha is great at RW””sell Digne we have Miranda and Cucurella”Sell Mina we have Marlon” and other nonsense.
    Truth is team needs experience and it was nice to see Arthur Lenglet and Malcod,they have quality.
    But the squad needs 2-3 new signings with quality and ready to be starters.
    Players like Munir Denis Rafinha,we know them and we know what they can offer.
    Especially Denis so average and hope he is gonna leave.
    Great perfomance by Riqui Puig,a true talent for the future.
    Rest B team was meh,only Miranda can have a future at Barca.

  35. luisthebeast
    July 29, 2018

    Also,how important is luck at football,Arnaiz was great at b team and maybe he could had a chance at 1st team but he had an injury and he was out many months,Alena lost the preseason,Oriol Busquets too and now Andre out for 2-3 months.

  36. luisthebeast
    July 29, 2018

    It seems Digne will go to Everton for 20m.
    Well with Gomes out for 2 months,Denis out also,i wonder what the club will do to reinforce the squad.
    Valverde have one LB,one RB and Roberto who must play at MF and 3 CBs and other 3 Mina,Vermaelen and Marlon,no one of them i believe have the quality to play for Barca.
    People say we can play Roberto or Umtiti at LB if needed and other stuff.
    What other top club have that logic?
    Guardiola,that they say trust the youths and all that,he have Walker,Danilo at RB,Mendy and Delph at LB and Stones,Laporte,Otamendi,Compani at CB.
    But cules wants Valverde to trust Miranda and Marlon and to win CL with a squad with so many problems.

  37. luisthebeast
    July 29, 2018

    Sory for another comment,i know i am writing a lot but cant stop reading things,i saw a guy said that Rafinha can play LB now that Digne,left,imagine what people really thing,same time that madrid have Carvajal Odriozola for RB and Marcelo Theo for LB,Barca have only Semedo and Alba,dont tell me about Roberto,poor boy is a MF not a RB.
    Same time Guardiola asks for players and their board sign everyone last summers,Valverde have to deal with a squad without balance.

  38. luisthebeast
    July 29, 2018

    A question:If Denis or Rafinha or Marlon or Munir were transfers of a 50-60m each would cules be happy with what they offer to the team or with their quality?I am sure not.But now that they are from Masia or were cheap signs,cules are like ok he is decent,he can offer some things and blah blah.
    Lets face the reality that judging a player by his price or if is a Masia boy doesnt have to mean that he can be part of the team because he was cheap or is Masia.
    I judge only from his quality and what offers to the team.
    No other top club fanbases cries for a young who doesnt play or leave the club.

    • Jassper
      July 30, 2018

      You want the club to sign the heavens and the earth (that’s your opinion), but when these signings don’t perform well you’ll criticize the board for signing wrong players (of which we don’t know the right ones).. Every one has their opinions If some cules like the team like this then, its okay, cos basically if you don’t use the young ones, what’s the essence of bringing them up in academy??.. Let’s wait till the end of the window to know who’s coming in and going out.. so long as the trophies keep rolling in, it fine by me….

  39. Rivaldo
    July 30, 2018

    I hate to reduce a beautifully written article to this but Luis above is annoying me….

    What are you talking about dude?

    We have two youngsters fighting for the second LB place is Digne goes… I can’t see them being any worst in terms of production. How many games has Digne really started in the time he has been here?

    Last time I checked Sergi Roberto was our starting RB; whether he should be or not is debatable but that is the situation… so we do have cover there.

    Vermaelen, Mina or Marlon not up to Barca quality??? Ok, did not Vermaelen play to Barca quality last season? Have you ever seen Marlon play? Each time Marlon plays with us t’s like the dude belongs. Has he gotten the chance? No. I remember last season people talking about his play at Nice and citing reports from others and things they themselves hadn’t seen except for an isolated highlight or an error… which I can do with any player including Messi e.g. let’s use world cups to judge Messi… exactly. Marlon was one of Nice’s most consistent performers in defense – if you doubt me check his stats – he played plenty (contrary to reports). He looks better than Mina and both are 23 years old – come off it!

    So there our defense is sorted.

    I do agree that we need to make a decision between Rafinha and Denis – Rafinha and add another quality mid to the team. I would also look at the strker progression from Suarez (not sell him but bring in his heir). My pick would be Mariano Diaz. Sorry I watch the french league too.

    Whew… glad I got that off my chest!

  40. luisthebeast
    July 30, 2018

    So if Alba is out for 2 months in March and team have to play a CL knock out game is better to have to play at LB a Miranda or a Umtiti or a player that he is indeed a LB??
    I dont understand why in Barca the coach have to deal with such complicated situations,to play players out of their natural positions.
    Rafinha as a LB is the new ridiculous thing,yeah it s just like marcelo is injured and in madrid they play Lucas Vasquez at LB.
    No,that s why they bought Theo.

    • Jassper
      July 30, 2018

      they did play vasquez as RB in champions league u know… so let’s say your argument is out of proportion…

  41. luisthebeast
    July 30, 2018

    I really hate when players used in different positions.
    When a player is a MF he must play there.
    I never liked the use of Roberto at RB.
    If you want a player to improve and be better,he must play in his natural position.
    If you play him here and there he will never reach his potentials.And then we will blame the coach.
    Rafinha is a MF,if he cant be great for Barca there then bye bye.
    I dont want him to be tried at LB,i want a new talented Lb who can challenge Alba for starter.

    • Jassper
      July 30, 2018

      Well, Roberto a MF was less than average until he became a RB… Javi Martinez to was a MF but now he’s better at CB….

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