Benvingut, Alexis Sánchez

They may call him Niño Maravilla in his homeland, but Alexis Alejandro Sánchez Sánchez better be prepared to be the less marvelous of the villas on the squad. They’ll also have to fight it out for awesomest son of a miner at Barça.

Sánchez has been playing professionally since he was 17 when he joined his local team, Cobreloa. Udinese snatched him up just a season later and he spent a year on loan at both Colo-Colo and River Plate. At the former he won both the 2006 Apertura and the 2007 Clausura and came in runner-up in the 2006 Copa Sudamericana. At the latter he won what has turned out to be the most recent trophy for the now-relegated Argentine club: the 2008 Clausura. In the middle he also ended up 3rd at the 2007 U-20 World Cup. All of that combined to earn him a spot at Udinese.

Let’s get this out of the way first: he is not a goal scorer. He has, in his club career, scored fewer goals than Messi scored last season. In 3 seasons at Udinese he has scored 21 goals in 110 appearances, 12 of them last season in 32 appearances and all but 1 of them in Serie A despite 16 non league appearances. Granted, he has a stellar record on the international level (14 in 36), but he is not going to arrive and produce 30 in a season. Adjust your expectations accordingly, please.

Where he slots into the squad is as a winger in a center-dominated system. We need players capable of shifting deep into the middle as the opposite flank heads to the sideline or crosses up. Pedro and Villa may be good at that, but there are only 2 of them and there are enough matches in the year (60+ if last season repeats itself) that Sánchez will get proper playing time. His defensive tenacity should also mean that there is no letup from subbing. That will be a welcome addition to the squad, which has a paucity of first rate subs (though I would claim Jeffren is only “substandard” because of injuries and Bojan is played out of position).

What you’re all waiting for: the money. Yeah, we overpaid. Of course we overpaid, we’re Barça. We’re buying a nearly finished product in the middle of a crazy market and we’re one of the richest clubs in the world. Of course we overpaid. I dislike it as much as anyone, but then, I can either rail against the price or the lack of reinforcements. Feels a bit absurd to rail against both when Coentrao costs 30m, Ashley Young is worth 15m and the asking price for Samir Nasri is around 20m. And no, I don’t know if Niño is better than Nasri, but I do know that potential says he could be and that’s worth a premium when you show up to negotiations wearing FCB gear. It’s just how it is.

The cost is, according to the official site, €26m + 11.5m in variables. We can debate the merits of that, but if we win the league and one of the cups we’re in (CL or CdR), how many of you will really argue that for slightly more than what Ibrahimovic brought in from Milan this year (€24m) we got ourselves a handy dandy winger?

So, benvingut Alexis, you should do wonderfully here, though your speculative pricetag could be terribly inconvenient for you when you don’t score 12 goals in your first game. Yeah, we expect that out of you. So come on, have a great time, but be sure you listen to Xavi or you will end up under a bus named Carles Puyol. And you do not want that.

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Written by:

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater New York City area with his wife and daughter.


  1. Vj
    July 21, 2011

    Sanchez Sanchez? We bought two? 😛

    Whoa! He’s younger than I am!! #weeps

    • Miguel
      July 21, 2011

      His parents are first cousins.

    • Vj
      July 21, 2011

      TMI. You could’ve simply said his maternal family name also happens to be Sanchez 😐

    • Bill
      July 22, 2011

      Lmao Miguel, this one was funny. Is that why he is freakishly talented?

  2. hammeronmessi
    July 21, 2011

    Finally the saga ends.he is the player i wanted most.

    welcome to the best club in the world.

    now for the fiber glass saga.please conclude the deal within this season.cant go through another season.

    • blitzen
      July 21, 2011

      Fiberglass is a lightweight, extremely strong, and robust material. Although strength properties are somewhat lower than carbon fiber and it is less stiff, the material is typically far less brittle, and the raw materials are much less expensive. Its bulk strength and weight properties are also very favorable when compared to metals, and it can be easily formed using molding processes.


    • Xingxian
      July 21, 2011


      <3 you Blitzen

  3. Anonymous_69
    July 21, 2011

    Come on, we didn’t overpay THAT much. A lot of variables, but those don’t really count too much. 26M for him is a a good price I think. I’m surprised Rosell didn’t just go crazy and pull out 40M straight up for him. Laporta might have done that. The negotiations took way too long, but we eventually got him, so good job.

  4. Josep
    July 21, 2011

    So happy. Reading all the “Barca are dolts that overpaid.” “One year wonder” and the like comments infuriates me. Sanchez is the real deal.

    It’s 26m. Not 37m. In order for it to be 37m he’ll have to perform which case performing well at Barca and possibly cracking the Starting XI..worth 11m right?

    • Ryan
      July 21, 2011

      And even then, the depreciation of the 11m over a year means we pay less anyway. Not to mention having those 11m available this year for more signings.

    • July 21, 2011

      This is important. It’s a big difference deferring payment AND making that deferred payment only when positive things happen for the club or player. The negotiations were long, but I think in the end they made a better deal than the team has made in several years.

  5. July 21, 2011

    Welcome Sanchez. Fantastic signing and I expect him to contribute quite a lot this season, although not necessarly with goals. What he brings to the table is a lot more then goals, which we have plenty of already tbh. He brings pace, agression, unpredictability and directness. Cant wait to see him play for us.

    Unlike most here I dont think we overpaid either. You pay what the market demands, simple as that. A player is worth what the market deams he is worth and other teams were willing to pay 40m+ (cash) for him so that is what he is worth. Saying we overpaid because we are Barca is completely wrong, if anything it is because we are Barca that we didnt have to fork out 40m+ for him. We got a pretty good deal in the end and only because he was desperate to come to us. If he had no preference, in an open market with Chelsea and City bidding he would probably have sold for 45m cash. Not only did we get him for less than that but we were able to spread a lot of risk by only paying 26m cash and the rest in variables. Udinese is taking a lot of risk in this deal. Well done Rossel, he took advantage of the situation with the player and got the best deal possible. No other team in the world gets this deal.

  6. FalseNine
    July 21, 2011

    I hope David is prepared to make sure Alexis is the less marvelous of the villas on the squad. 😉

    He supposedly (I wasn’t watching Udinese) did best this past year after a switch to the middle, I wonder how much time he will get there. Rests or (aaagghhh) injuries for Leo could get him there. I also wonder if Messi’s days of starting on the wing are forever gone, or if Pep might try to mix it up again to stay a step ahead of the defenses.

    Even Pep may not know the best configurations until they get a chance to practice and play together. Bottom line, it’s nice to have a bunch of quality players up front who can play multiple positions, be creative and play energetic defense. Knew this signing was coming, but still excited.

    • barcabeast
      July 21, 2011

      This. Biggiest issues we had last year was when Leo was man marked by Pepe in the Clasicos. The answer to that problem was to pull Messi out wide to either clear out the middle (if Pepe still went out that far) or to give Messi one v one opportunies to unbalance the defense (if Pepe didn’t go out there).

      However, we had no players on the team that could play the false nine like Messi and link up with the midfield so Pep really couldn’t do to much to change his tactics.

      With the signing of Sanchez, teams will no longer be able to clog up the middle. With either Sanchez or Messi on the wing and one of the two in the middle, you maintain the same ability to unbalance the middle of the pitch but at the same time create great width in the attack as well as a player who if given a chance to go one v one will usually win.

      For numerious reaons this was a great signing and will really give this team unlimited options depending on the situation presented.

    • July 21, 2011

      Cesc will be able to play a False 9 as well. Next season Pep is going to have a lot more tactical options, which is why he wanted these two players specifically.

  7. jordi™
    July 21, 2011

    I see the haters are out in there numbers about our fee.Well if we end up paying the full 11+ in variables, we’ll probably have won like our 3rd league and cl double in 4 years so…

  8. Eklavya
    July 21, 2011

    No picture(s) Isaiah?

  9. stowe
    July 21, 2011

    I’m excited to see him play. It will be good to have another player that is really comfortable with the ball at his feet and running at defenders. It is also nice to have a real winger in the squad. I think this will do a lot for our potential attack. I’m sure that Villa will improve with this signing as well since he will get more rest and have more motivation to keep his level of play high.
    I think we will soon sign Cesc even though I wish we could also add a defender. I like Cesc but think we have more need for a pacey defender. It will be fun to see how Pep uses these signing come Fall.

  10. mom4
    July 21, 2011

    but Alexis Alejandro Sánchez Sánchez better be prepared to be the less marvelous of the villas on the squad. They’ll also have to fight it out for awesomest son of a miner at Barça DV will see to that…

    Welcome Alexis— boy needs a different nickname now (Isaiah’s/Kxevin’s idea of “he who is not worth 50M” can’t be used anymore)

  11. Dani_el
    July 21, 2011

    Well I dont remember the last time the variables were that much, as in this signing, I guess Its better to have bigger variables according to met objectives. I hope he does well in Barza, I would have prefer cheaper players, but it seems to be a good kid (in personality) and talented. So now we wait for Cesc.

  12. simple_barcafan
    July 21, 2011

    So we had 3M for Afelley. What is Sanchez gonna be known as?

    • mei
      July 21, 2011

      26 million. Or 37 for the haters.

    • FalseNine
      July 21, 2011

      There’s an English translation of a line from Pep’s press conference this week, where he says he’s told Alexis is “a very good boy”. That’s that he’s been in my head since then, the Very Good Boy.

    • simple_barcafan
      July 21, 2011

      how abt 37M ?

    • simple_barcafan
      July 21, 2011

      i meant 37M

  13. July 21, 2011

    Great signing. Absolutely thrilled. Think about this: even without Messi, we would have arguably the best set of forwards and attackers in the world: Villa, Pedro, Sanchez, Afellay. Name me one club other than perhaps Madrid that has better forwards. And then you add Leo to that. Absurd.

    That said, he’s not going to hit the ground running and I hope the fans and press are patient. The good thing is he has the right attitude, appears hard working and humble, and that will help him, in the dressing room, on the pitch, and in the papers.


  14. July 21, 2011

    The Sanchez transfer has dragged on for so long, it stopped being a sporting transaction and took on a life of it’s own as this circus-like media event. In both the traditional media and in the internet, this transfer took on a bizarre transformation.

    And in the process the actual value of the player,his talent, and potential contributions to Barca have all become rather obscured.

    When Inter was reportedly going to offer 25M + 3 players for Sanchez it was a another shrewd Moratti maneuver. When Man U wanted him all we heard about was how Ferguson had been following him since he was 17 and was ready to stealthily pounce.

    Mancini – known as a very astute tactician, girded in the complex war games of Serie A and now transforming the EPL – built his entire transfer strategy around acquiring Sanchez. When he wanted the player at all costs – going as much as 44M + a huge wage to get him – it was City using their financial clout rationally. When Chelsea wanted him and were also willing to pay over 40M to get him – he was essential to “AVB” creating a new Chelsea.

    But now that he has actually wound up on Barca it’s just a silly move waiting to blow up.

    And in this strange process where people went from lauding Sanchez as the next superstar in world football to an overpriced “project” what became very lost was how much Sanchez wanted to only play for Barca and how Barca utilized that leverage to get the player for much, much less than what his market rate set by City and Chelsea was.

    You can argue that what Barca paid in 26.5 + 11.5 was too much or overpaying. But regardless they did get him for considerably less than what the top bids in the market for him reportedly were.

    And it seems to be many people changed their perceptions of this player when it became clear how much he wanted to play for only Barca. Perceptions changed in the media when it became evident that he wasn’t going to allow himself to go to Inter, United, City or Chelsea regardless of how much better their offers were and how much more they would have paid him in wages.

    Juventus is negotiating for Rossi – Villareal are still demanding 30M in cash for the player. That’s less cash than what Barca are paying in the flat fee for Sanchez (given Barca’s revenues paying out the variables over a period of years will be far less taxing than providing large sums of money up front now). Aguero will not go for a penny less than what Athletico are demanding. An aging Drogba would reportedly cost 10M – it’s likely that he only has one more season in him if even that. This is the market for strikers right now.

    Romelu Lukaku will be sold for nearly as much as Sanchez’s 26.5M fixed fee.

    Fabio Coentrao cost 30M – and he’s never played in a major league.

    That’s some of the context for this transaction.

    And as there are no ready strikers in La Masia there was no way for the club to build the kind of depth it needed without going into the market. Sometimes you have to do business with your teeth clenched and just do business. You might not like it, but if you wait for an ideal world then opportunities – and trophies – become very scarce.

    • Gogah
      July 21, 2011

      good points. even when i read the official announcement i was pleasantly surprised to see the fee that i expected to see. hats off to zubi n rosell for pulling it off. coentrao never played in a major league, but angel di maria too hadn’t. he is now a starter for madrid and argentina. and how much did they pay for him in the midst of all that hype?..somewhere in the late 20s if i remember right. so thats also perspective for you. this is, by the looks of it a normal transfer. you also mentioned that strikers are few in la masia and thats fact. but lexus (my nick for sanchez) isn’t a striker right? so then…?
      dont we still need a goal scorer/poacher/..something??

    • Blau-Grenade
      July 21, 2011

      Thanks for the insight Euler. I love his speed. If he can beat a defender or two, along with the speed he has got to outrun his marker, he will be something very special. He also has a wonderful change of pace and direction that has been a joy for me to watch on his youtube videos.

  15. just listenin
    July 21, 2011

    At last the News!! Finally – this is exciting. He is going to be an interesting addition to the club, it adds a new level of diversity and adaptability in the attack that will be great to watch Pep play with against different defenses. Talk about position switching and formation options – this will be very good I think. Messi’s scoring magic blossomed under Pep, looks like he has a new project, wonder if he saw a potential of some sort in that way. If he adapts well and connects, it could be a real game changer in some situations… wait, we paid what?? Kidding – it’s all good, I still think we’re in much better financial position than has been publicized, and the claims otherwise kept us from paying even more in straight cash.

  16. July 21, 2011

    I think this is an overwhelmingly positive deal. 26 million euro for a quality forward with an enormous upside is a great deal. With the coming sales of Bojan and Jeffren the austerity measures of RoSELL seem to be working, especially considering these sales including buy back options. We have brought in two attacking players (Affelay and Sanchez) for half of what an out of an out of sorts Torres cost. And ask yourself: ten minutes left in a champions league game and a goal down, who would you rather bring in to be a gamechanger? Sanchez or Bojan? Affelay or Jeffren? The deal while excruciatingly long and full of hyperbolic press coverage ended in giving us a quality player for a fair price. Oh and it should be emphasized, we are only paying 26. The variables are hypothetical, and hopefully they become a reality because that means more silverware for us. If you want to win, you got to spend in this market. And imo we have spent wisely and our squad is deeper in talent despite the potential of losing a few players.

    • Blau-Grenade
      July 21, 2011

      Xavi was 19 when he played this game. And he changed the game after coming on as substitute in the second half. Replaced Pep. After Xavi’s introduction Barca controlled the rest of the match. Absolute genius.

  17. Gogah
    July 21, 2011

    finally, its over. a lot of people are talking about Lexus’s attacking flair, his one on one superiority, speed, crossing etc. what i am more excited to see in him is his tenacious defending. pep buying more forwards and not even talking about buying defenders puts this also in perspective. it is of such paramount importance that a forward in barcelona must also be the most hard working defender in this system. and that way sanchez checks the box. he will add to the steel and pressing game of barca’s really well. and inspite of people worrying about barca’s defense, it’s worth remembering that it has only gotten better with every year pep has managed.. soo yea..Go barca!

  18. July 21, 2011

    oentrao never played in a major league, but angel di maria too hadn’t. he is now a starter for madrid and argentina. and how much did they pay for him in the midst of all that hype?..somewhere in the late 20s

    It’s interesting that you bring up Di Maria as he’s a great point of comparison.

    Di Maria was widely reported to be a 25M transfer. And that’s what was said in the media and how the value of the deal was perceived. Di Maria was a 25M player.

    But this is absolutely not true if we go by the standards defined by this transfer of Sanchez.

    Di Maria cost 25M + 11M in variables. That was his official fee.

    But I can’t remember any one ever reporting or describing Di Maria as a 37M player. Ever.

    The whole way this Sanchez deal has been perceived has been just bizarre. People are treating the variables as if they were guaranteed money. They are not.

    Di Maria’s deal was not reported as a 37M deal although that is likely what RM will pay for him because I’d guess he made most of his variables. Di Maria’s deal was uniformly considered 25M.

    But somehow Sanchez’s deal has been understood and reported out in ways which deals never are. They almost never include the variables in the pricing of the player.

    No one said Di Maria was a 37M player last summer. But this summer somehow Sanchez is a 40M player. It makes no sense.

    • July 21, 2011

      Euler the funny thing is that Di Maria’s variables have already been met!! The biggest variable for 5 millions was that he’d be registered with the first team squad!!! I don’t remember the others exactly but they were very low and had to do with games and assists and he reached them aprox February-March

    • July 21, 2011

      Well actually here in the UK the transfer is mostly being reported as a £23M deal (BBC, Sky, Guardian, etc). The Guardian didnt even mention the variables! They just said we signed Sanchez for £23. Most of the outlets are saying £23M + variables, but I have yet to see anyone say 37M (or the GBP equivalent).

    • FalseNine
      July 21, 2011

      The one place I can find giving the higher figure is, which is reporting “Official: Barcelona complete £33m signing of Udinese’s Alexis Sanchez”. A surprise, considering’s sterling reputation for accuracy in journalism.

    • Gogah
      July 22, 2011

      its all about perception. when barca buys a player, it is automatically assumed that he’s a world beater. even though afellay is a great player, people are treating him like a nobody just because he costs 3M. thats utter crap and you can’t avoid perception. my worry is this. its understandable that barca and madrid are a buying club. maybe madrid is a better selling club than us, but thats besides the point. how the hell do they get players like di maria, ozil, canales etc for relatively low prices. the thing is we have gotten so used to barca screwing up in the transfer market for high profile players, that this seems suddenly like some sort of a bargain. only time will tell if its a bargain. like i said this is a very normal transfer, but hats off to lexus for wanting to play here and zubi and rosell for pulling out a normal transfer instead of a bloated one. now lets hope they can do the same for Cesc or whoever they are targeting.

  19. just listenin
    July 21, 2011

    The Allas Alexis video is fun… I think this may be an oldie but goodie, but fun given the mood. Was tweeted on BarcaStuff

  20. Judas Pissed
    July 21, 2011

    @cesc4official hasn’t tweeted anything for 4 days now. Finally learned to keep his big trap shut…

  21. Helge
    July 21, 2011

    26 + 11.5 – that’s actually less than I expected / feared.

    I remember the rumours of AS(S).com that we’d pay 43m in total for him. And after all the news and comments from Pozzo, I think the final deal is the best that we could get!

    Maybe Rosell is not such a bad negotiator at all. Or did Zubi all the work?

    Whatever, may Alexis Sanchez be the reinforcement we’ve all dreamed of!

  22. ciaran
    July 21, 2011

    The 26m + 11.5 is a sound deal based on a gigantic number of factors.
    Firstly, it’s only spending €26m this season. We have a fairly specific plan to become financially secure very shortly. This is a good amount to spend while leaving room for a transfer of you know who.

    Secondly, having a large number of variables ensures that this is a far less risky transfer than it could have been.

    The other options were even more expensive or more of a risk;
    Aguero’s buyout clause is €45million, however the buying club would have to pat the tax on this figure, meaning that he would cost an immediate €54million – twice what Sanchez is costing plus he would reportedly demand approximately €4million per season extra over the 5years of contract.

    • July 21, 2011

      Yeah, it’s a shame Kun is so expensive. He’d be my dream signing.


  23. Helge
    July 21, 2011

    Oriol Romeu is on his way to Chelsea’s first team, so to say as a back-up for the back-up of the injured Michael Essien^^

    • July 21, 2011

      I think this is a good move considering Busquets and Mascherano will have the DM position covered for a while. Best case scenario, we include a buy back option and he returns an even better player like the case of Pique when he went to ManU.

    • FalseNine
      July 21, 2011

      I kind of feel the opposite… Busi and Masche are more than enough if no one gets hurt, but they are the only two on the team who can play DM, and they are also now backup CBs. If people get hurt it would start to feel a little thin. On the other hand, certainly Sergio and Javier will keep anybody else from sniffing a starting position at DM for a long while, as you said. So what I wanted was someone we could call up in a pinch if one or the other goes down, and Romeu seemed to fit the bill admirably.

      I suppose if Ilie Sanchez can fill the role I’m describing, it might be justified to sell Romeu if the offer is good enough.

  24. barca4eva
    July 21, 2011

    I don’t think we know the price of Alexis’ yet and so it is premature to declare that we overpaid. The size of payment is not the most important factor in reaching a verdict of under, over or just appropriate payment. More importantly, it is his value to us, his contributions to the team that will ultimately decide that question.

  25. mei
    July 21, 2011

    I want to talk about two points here :
    First , Euler says that its amazing how the press treated sanchez as a 37 million player -while hes not and i totally agree with that- and not done it for di maria.
    When you have big transfer bids of that magnitude, like manchester city offering 40 million etc ,its easy how the press would like to report like.Press likes big numbers anyway.
    Secondly, this transfer has been amazingly timed.
    Think about it : we got ourselves a very good deal, while the players is still on holiday after the copa america. Its only three days after the official site reported we started, for the first time in recent history , the preseason without any new signings.

    • Lev
      July 21, 2011

      while you guys make a good point comparing the reported transfer fee of Sanchez and Di Maria it is also completely irrelevant…Does EE even have a transfer “budget”?

      Welcome Alexis, the first Chilean player ever to be wearing the blaugrana! 🙂

  26. Lev
    July 21, 2011


    Hugo Chavez, as reported in the Guardian:
    “I think we must raise our voice because we have authority to do so before Conmebol,” the president said on his @chavezcandanga account, which is followed by almost 1.8 million people.
    “Why the devil did that referee disallow such a spectacular goal? Was one of our glorious artillery men offside? None of them!”

    Imagine having this guy as your president…. 🙁

    • July 21, 2011

      ¿Y por qué no te callas? 😆

      That still makes me laugh…

  27. BarcaGirl_Indo
    July 21, 2011

    EPL fans are screaming “**** me what a bargain! Well done, Barça!”

    yes, we live in a world where Henderson was bought for £20m, so is Sanchez overpaid? I don’t think so, personally.
    If Udinese put him in a market and take the highest bid, no doubt they could get about €40m, CASH.

    and Euler, only rubbish sites reported Sanchez as €37m player, I saw BBC and Guardian reported him as £23m player.

  28. July 21, 2011

    I’m stoked.
    My 6-years-old-in-soccer-years self doesn’t care about the money.
    What I see is Weeble #2 (Messi being #1.)
    or as Ray Ray would say “like even more smoke through a keyhole.”
    Best remedy yet for my diving Busi-shame.

    …wonder how much Dallas tickets are?

  29. July 21, 2011

    26 mil plus 11 in add ons. Finally a well negotiated deal.

  30. July 21, 2011

    Just to clarify my earlier remarks – I wasn’t referring to only how the story was being reported and discussed today.

    This has been going on for weeks and weeks.

    And on the whole the deal has been discussed as if it were a 40M deal rather than 26M+11 or whatever it was.

    All along the structure of the deal through variables has been a secondary issue or even an afterthought – as if they were fixed payments.

    There’s a reason why it was common for cule’s to say well for only 5M more we could get Kun, etc. even though the entire deal was not nearly as expensive as Kun would be.

    My point was this: when transfers evolve and discuss they are discussed with respect to the fixed, payment. In this case the numbers that were most often discussed was the total potential worth of the contract should all of the variables materialize. That’s just very odd and had a great deal of impact on how people perceive this deal and the players worth.

    There have been comparisons between this deal and Ibra’s. That doesn’t come from a 26M +11M variables structure.

    Part of this was the confusing nature of the negotiations. I also think Barca may have facilitated this impression on purpose to help Udinese save some face – by referring to the deal based on it’s total potential valuation it made it look like the deal was closer to the ridiculous figures Pozzo kept throwing out. It also made it seem as if Udinese were getting a deal relatively comparable to what City and Chelsea were willing to pay even though Barca got him for much less because he was only willing to go to one team.

    But the by product of this confusion, IMO, is that throughout this process Sanchez’s value has become obscured because people were judging him as a “40M” player.

  31. July 21, 2011

    So, I guess I’ll just get some my thoughts out

    This is a good deal IMO, and is very telling re: Alexis’ desire to come here.

    First things first, I’ll start with:

    A) The Price

    Obviously, there are many things that factor into it.

    1) Nature of the Position

    Alexis is a forward. (Like, durr). But that also means he’s inflated on principle. These players are always the most talked about, endorsed, and known players in football. Commercial value is high and they become the faces of the club (or franchise for you North Americans); they win matches, the masses eat it up and it sells really well. Therefore, the more important/bigger the forward, the larger the price. Forwards have always been inflated. It’s just how it is, how it’s always been. (Are people just noticing this now?)

    2) Prior Season

    I know a lot of you haven’t really seen Alexis play outside of Chile but I’ve watch a couple of matches of Udinese (for people who love downloading, I’d recommend downloading Udinese vs Lazio to get a good look at Sanchez. Also, Udinese play the best football in Serie A by far; it’d be worth it to take a look at them sometime) and his second half of the season was brilliant. The first half, he was pretty poor — it has to be said, but when he was moved to the center in the second half he flourished. And He has the best strike partnership in Serie A with Di Natale.

    Alexis played a major part in securing Udinese at CL spot.

    3) Age

    When looking to buy, the next thing potential buyers look at is age. He could have a great season, but if he’s in his late 20s/early 30s the price goes down (though it was most likely inflated in the first place)

    4) The Club He Plays For:

    As we all know, Udinese is a selling club. They don’t garner much commercial, matchday and TV revenue, and they are constantly looking to get the best they can on discount deals. So when a big club with a lot of money, prestige, titles and loaded with talent, they act much differently in negotiations than teams on the same level as them.

    It’s well within their right to get the biggest amount possible for their top asset. And Alexis is their top asset. Di Natale is 30+ (I think he’s like 34 or something) and despite him going on strong, he won’t sell for much. Alexis is just, if not more, deadly and much, much younger.

    5) Interest from Other Clubs:

    It’s been said a million times but other clubs, the ones that are inflating the market so badly, were willing to pay 40+ Euros up front (i.e. in cash) for Alexis.

    6) Talent/Prospect Issue:

    People have been talking about Alexis for YEARS. I first heard about him 4 years ago (no prizes when it was) and they’ve been hyping him big. He is the single biggest thing to come out of Chile for a long time. Talent wise, he’s like a Thiago with much more experience, both at club level and internationally, and with an (admitting) better workrate.

    We don’t have any really promising forwards out of La Masia. Let’s just get this out of the way. Yes, Soriano’s had a great season, but that was because a) it was in the Second division, and b) he had no real competition in the team (other than Nolito, who would play beside him, and Tello). Not to mention this is most likely his limit with regards to his growth as a player. At 24 years of age, he might be great in mid-table teams (Valencia, Sevilla etc. MAY be a bit of a stretch) but not in the first team. Sad, but that’s how it is. I’d like him to get a chance to play, but I’m realistic here.

    You won’t find a player who is young incredibly talented, willing to work hard for the team (i.e. not a primadona), has experience and done well at the top level in a major league on a team on the up and internationally (at the WC at that!) AND cheap. Sorry, but you won’t. Well, maybe on Football Manager.

    Bojan ( 🙁 ) and Jeffren didn’t pan out. Their combined minutes was under 2000. Villa, who is pushing 30 and looks a 60 minute player to me, was so exhausted during the business end of last season that it affected not only his goal output but the team on the whole. Bojan was injured and off form and Jeffren is the spiky haired fashion mascot that’s there to make up numbers. We needed another player, that’s not Afellay, for rotation and supersub.


    A hyped forward on a selling club who had a great season, interest from rich/financially doped clubs and one who we need still left for under 30m Euros, with the other 11m not guaranteed money . No doubt that one of the reasons this was so dragged out was because a large portion of those variables is whether we win trophies or not. If we don’t, we don’t pay.

    It reduces the risk, which leads me to the next point.

    B) Risk

    Of course with every transfer there is a risk.

    This will most likely be futile, but I ask people to have patience with Sanchez. He will do a lot of those annoying “little” things; over-hit crosses to no-one that give away possession/break down promising moves; giving up a lot of fouls due to his over exuberance; and other such things.

    He won’t be perfect and saying he cost 26million he has to do better all the time won’t be all that realistic or fair IMO. Does that mean that you can’t? Heck no. If he misses an open net, call him out. If he gets a stupid yellow or dives or whatever, call him out. But if he doesn’t get X amount of goals while someone else got Y amount who cost Z Euros, it’s not like he can’t improve. Yes, the system is hard and pointing that out is no so much defending the player as stating a fact: our system is hard, and players won’t be the same as they were on another team. They’ll either become better (Abidal), or fall into the wayside (Hleb).

    “He only scored 12 goals, what’s so great about that?!”

    Prima facie, it’s very difficult to score in the Serie A. If you’ve score 15 as a forward, you’ve had a great season. Any more than that, and you’re being hyped to kingdom come. Not a lot of goals are scored. Secondly, he wasn’t the main target man; he and di Natalie had to ‘share’.

    That being said, it is a problem. He’ll need to be a relatively constant/guaranteed source of goals. His finishing is his biggest risk. If he starts bad, does that mean we’re stuck with him and it was a 26m Euro failure? No. He’s young and able to grow. That’s the positive.

    “But Messi plays in the center, does that mean Alexis will struggle not palying in his preferred position?!”

    Well, no. He’s not a one trick pony. Obviously, he won’t be as effective, but it doesn’t mean he won’t be. He plays on the right for Chile, where he’s linked up brilliantly with Isla (granted, they are, sorry, were, teammates at Udinese). His supporting cast of Dani and Xavi are much greater than Matigol/Valdivia and Isla.

    That we got Sanchez for the price we did is a piece of pretty damn good business IMO. Fee wise, he’s not like Afellay, who was in the last year of his contract, but desire wise, they are both the same. Alexis wanted to come here, not Citeh, not Chelski, not Inter, here and that was what brought down the price significantly*. Barca used their pulling power to maximum effect, and while I haven’t been supportive of the new admin, this was a great move.

    *Like a certain captain, he had only one market; one potential buyer, but unlike a certain captain he was very, very clear that he wanted to move, and he wanted to now. No drama, no crying to friends/family/trainer/mailman about how much emotional suffering he’s going through (…I’m being very unfair here, but whatever 😀 ).

    Benvingut, Alexis! Here’s hoping you do well. #midgetsolidarity (POWER TO THE MIDGETS!)


    • July 21, 2011

      Okay, maybe ‘some thoughts’ was an understatement.

    • blitzen
      July 21, 2011

      he was very, very clear that he wanted to move

      Just out of curiosity, when exactly did Sanchez make a public statement to the effect that he wanted to leave Udinese for Barcelona and would consider nothing else? Because I don’t remember him doing that.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      July 21, 2011

      I don’t think he said it directly from his mouth to the media.

      it’s Udinese’s representative and his agent who said it, if I’m not mistaken.

    • FalseNine
      July 21, 2011

      Yeah, I think both Alexis and Cesc made their desires clear behind the scenes. The real difference in the situations is the difference between Udinese and Arsenal. One knows they’re a selling club, while the other knows they’re…. um….

    • barca96
      July 22, 2011

      C’mon Kari. Again you showed your hate towards Cesc. It’s been clear for years now that Cesc wants to return and play for Barca. Sanchez hasn’t done anything more than what Cesc has done.

    • Dani_el
      July 22, 2011

      Excellent thoughts!
      He is young, he seems to be awesome on 1 on 1 situations, he passes well, and I guess that if he doesnt lose confidence he could associate well with the rest of our team. I just hope we sign Cesc, and the whole team begins to train together (I’m guessing Messi being Messi will skip some days of his vacations)

  32. K_legit
    July 22, 2011

    the hell happened on Graham Hunter’s timeline?

  33. Olufestus
    July 22, 2011

    Uhm uhm…trophyless twerps…

  34. simple_barcafan
    July 22, 2011

    I have to say, I admire his determination to come to Barca..True he might not have spoken about it openly.. In a way that was good..Didn’t add to the media circus that was already present. As Kari said, no crying, emotional trauma crap. Just a determined silent stance to his agent and club. If you notice, through out the entire circus, his behavior has been exemplary. No outbursts to the media or to anyone. Things that Pep looks for. Says a lot about his character and maturity.

  35. Humphrey Bogart
    July 22, 2011

    Arsenal fans are really crazy, they are not getting over themselves that we not right out pay their asking price for Cesc and call us therefore disrespectful, but offer 10 Mio. for Jagielka, when Everton ask 18 Mio. I must somewho have missed the moral outcry in the english media and among the gunners about that

  36. barca96
    July 22, 2011

    Welcome new Pedro!!!

  37. BarcaGirl_Indo
    July 22, 2011

    I’m reading that Bojan a.k.a Cuddly Toy is treated like crap.. training alone and leaving “through back door” to Roma…

    is it true? if it’s true then it’s very disappointing for me… he doesn’t deserve that, the boy is from La Masia and play with the 1st team for 4 years…

    • mei
      July 22, 2011

      Guardiola has talked about it in the last press conference. What back door?
      The guy needs to develop and isnt getting minutes in this team.
      Thats that.

    • July 22, 2011

      Training alone was actually Bojan’s choice. He asked permision for that and for not going through medical. I’m sure he’ll thrive at Roma and we’ll get him back. I think all this will help him grow and see that nothing is for granted and develop his game with less pressure. I’m still a fan of his!

    • outerspacedout
      July 22, 2011

      I second what the two above me said re: Bojan ‘still only 20’ Krkic.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      July 22, 2011

      I’m asking here, that’s what I read from doris’ twitter (writer from, just want to make sure is it true or not…

      I think Doris’ tweets are based on this, an article made by Albert Llimós from Sport newspaper..

      and don’t get me wrong, I’m totally support his departure by the way, I agree that he needs minutes to play with a team that has less pressure.. I sure hope he will succeed at Roma..

    • barca96
      July 22, 2011

      If that is true, we are no better than Madrid for the way they treated Guti, Hierro, Raul.
      I never had any problems with that but a lot of Barca fans over the years complained about it.

    • July 22, 2011

      The article -I read both the spanish and the translation-talks about not being fair by letting him linger and not finish his transfer before we complete the one with Alexis. The Club at NO POINT made him train alone as punishment of some sort.

    • nzm
      July 22, 2011

      Bojan was included in the first training called by Pep. He elected to ask the club if he could sit it out, and train alone, because his future was still up in the air. The club agreed. It was Bojan’s choice.

      He’s very much feeling like a victim in this scenario and, at 20, who can blame him for feeling like that? Brought into the first team as a glory boy, having a wonderful 09/10 season and then a tragic 10/11. I wish that he had gone out on a high at the end of 09/10 – loaned to a club that could guarantee him more playing time. It was foreseeable that Villa’s entry would not see Bojan playing many minutes, and when he did, he tried too hard and failed.

  38. Reaper
    July 22, 2011

    A few thoughts –

    1. Welcome Sanchez – contrary to what most believe here, IMO 26m-27m is an extremely good business and no matter how much of a beating Rosell and his team get, there is a HUGE HUGE difference in our transfer methodology. For all the love Laporta gets, he was way too spendy and made some completely unwarranted purchases. Sure, Pep has to share the blame here but there is no way Pep asked for rejects like Kerrison and Henrique.

    2. Bassam made a very good point about our situation in the event Xavi is ruled out for a considerable time. Agreed, Fabregas will cost a lot of money but he is the perfect fit on so many levels. I’m also completely in support of the way Rosell is handling things from an economic standpoint. Marc Ingla confessed before the elections that he would even pay 80m for him. We all know Laporta is a crowd pleaser and we loved him for it but he would have done the deal for upwards of 50 (if not more).

    If we have to buy Cesc and everyone knows we will, Rosell is the best businessman of the lot to get him for the least amount of money.

    • Reaper
      July 22, 2011

      Also, many here have cited Sanchez speed as his greatest asset. I haven’t seen much of him but are we talking TB/afellay (running without the ball) kind of pace or Messi (on the ball) pace.

      Pace wise – I doubt any player will match the grace of Thierry Henry at full tilt

    • Reaper
      July 22, 2011

      Also, many here have cited Sanchez speed as his greatest asset. I haven’t seen much of him but are we talking TB/afellay (running without the ball) kind of pace or Messi (on the ball) pace?

      Pace wise – I doubt any player will match the grace of Thierry Henry at full tilt

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      July 22, 2011

      I’m not sure Cesc will come this summer.. I don’t think Arsenal are willing to sell their best player for cheap, except Cesc make a transfer request (not gonna happen)..
      but who knows, what we know for sure is the negotiation is still ongoing..

      i’ll be very happy if we buy a central back… I think it’s very crucial and I don’t know why we haven’t heard any rumor about us buying a defender..

  39. Para
    July 22, 2011

    Official: Roma pay Barcelona 12M for Bojan. The deal includes an obligatory buy back clause of 13M in the summer of 2013

    (from barcastuff)

    Is an obligatory buy-back basically the same thing as a loan until 2013?

    • Goo
      July 22, 2011

      That’s what I thought too. Maybe by then Cuddly will be all toughened up and ready to play for Barca.

    • flyzowee
      July 22, 2011

      No no, i dont like the sound of that. ‘Obligatory’ buy – back clause?
      Somebody explain please.

  40. K_legit
    July 22, 2011

    Official: Barcelona announce the transfer of forward Bojan Krkic (20) to AS Roma

  41. Goo
    July 22, 2011

    Oh, this:

    Official: Roma can block the buy-back clause in 2013 when they pay another 28M for Bojan, and make it a total transfer fee of 40M.

    • Eklavya
      July 22, 2011

      That would be sweet.

    • Goo
      July 22, 2011

      That would mean Barca is actually going to get a really good deal out of Bojan. Which probably means it’s not gonna happen.

      However much I hate you, this is pretty impressive business Senor Rosell.

    • Eklavya
      July 22, 2011

      And our buy back option is for 13M, which is only 1M more than what we are currently getting. Nice.

  42. K_legit
    July 22, 2011


  43. ciaran
    July 22, 2011

    That’s a good transfer. If Bojan works out then we get him for back for 13million in two seasons, after he will have really and truly grown up after 2 years in Italy.
    If Roma want to block the transfer they have to pay an additional €28million. Well negotiated.

    • July 22, 2011

      However if Bojan doesn’t work out we still have to pay 13 mil to get him back 🙂

    • July 22, 2011

      Basically Roma loans us money and we loan them Bojan ;p

    • barca96
      July 22, 2011

      I think he will be pushed around really.
      He wouldn’t be able to take it mentally.
      Even now he can’t really take some physicallity in La Liga, he reacts quite a lot. Can’t imagine him against Inter’s defence again..

    • ciaran
      July 22, 2011

      The mandatory re-buy is strange though, more like a swap of loans…
      We are loaning Bojan to them for 2 years and they are loaning us €12million for 2 years?

  44. Leckan1
    July 22, 2011

    Now I pray for something similar with Romeu and Chelsea. It’s the only way I would be ok with it.

  45. Huckleberry
    July 22, 2011

    Clearly kind of a loan with a buy option for Roma after two years.

  46. outerspacedout
    July 22, 2011

    I think obligatory buy-back means if we decide to buy him back Roma can’t stop us? Unless they pay the extra 28mil then. That’s what I think at least, not that it means we have to get him back regardless.

    Great deal imo though. If he develops well we get him for practically nothing.

    For one, money in hand is worth more than money in the future since it can be reinvested or interest gotten from having it already- it’s worth more in the accounts than the same money two years later, so the difference is between 12mil now and 13mil two years later is even less than 1mil. Secondly, Barcelona can get an advantage by letting him develop so he can get more playing time and experience, and all without even paying the wages for him staying those two seasons as well. His wages are about 2mil a year.

    And, if he does well for Roma, a great deal for them too- either they’d have gotten a good player for a rather cheap price if Barca decide to not buy him back and settle with players they already had, or they’d have gotten a striker for pretty much free, wages aside, over two years if Barcelona do buy him back.

  47. outerspacedout
    July 22, 2011

    Also, apparently Lucho is a super-competitive fitness and sports maniac who does Iron Man competitions and triathlons in his spare time. If anybody is going to get Bojan mentally and physically up to speed it’s gonna be playing in Serie A under him.

    Maybe a bit of Lean On Me tough love will work for Bojan.

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