Farewell, young Bojan Krkic. We hardly knew ye

That loud “thunk” that you heard was the sound of the other shoe dropping. With an arrival often comes a departure, and when Alexis Sanchez’ transfer was announced, it was widely assumed that Bojan Krkic would depart, to Roma.

And so it happened.

The deal, announced officially today, is a 12m transfer with an “obligatory” 13m buyback fee. If Roma want to buy the player and block our buyback, tack another 28m onto it, and he would then become a 40m player. Whether this is a good deal or not, depends upon one’s view of economics.

What we do know is that Krkic will link up with a coach who likes and wants to implement aspects of our system, and he will get a lot more playing time than he is getting with us. All of these things can only help his development. And the stern whetstone of Serie A will also force him to develop as a strong, direct, aggressive player, as the defenders in that league don’t brook any nonsense.

The “we hardly knew ye” is apt, as we still don’t know him and what kind of player that he is and can become. Is he the brilliant, slashing striker that he showed signs of being, or a dynamic second striker who pairs with a more traditional 9 to raise hell. Dunno. And this makes the move in many ways a bittersweet transfer, because the Boy of 1000 Goals was supposed to amount to so much more. He was promoted to the first team, came out like gangbusters and began to immediately show some of the immense promise that he offered. As his career progressed, he even became the pick over Zlatan Ibrahimovic. And unlike Gai Assulin, another wonder who is now gone, people really came to like Krkic, and there is disappointment in a lot of cule hearts today at news of the transfer.

For me, the change of venue can’t be a bad thing. The pressure of being in the club must have been so intense for him, as well as the pressure of having to live up to that stellar B Team promise. Perhaps those things contributed to his downward spiral. I can’t imagine that the decision to let him go was taken lightly, and it could certainly be assumed that the structuring of the deal is such that it’s very easy for him to come back if he pans out at Roma. Whether it’s simple confidence or setting will become apparent as the next two seasons progress. For now, all that we are left to do is wish him well, and program the DVR for Roma matches, to see how he does.

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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.

215 Comments

  1. Ryan
    July 23, 2011

    Iniesta time!

  2. Miguel
    July 23, 2011

    Who’d Jeffren come on for?

  3. Vj
    July 23, 2011

    VV – like a boss!

    • Noslehcimretep
      July 23, 2011

      that was Pinto. But also bosslike.

      • Vj
        July 23, 2011

        Damn these shitty streams. Not able to even see his braids!

  4. Miguel
    July 23, 2011

    Second half line-up: Pinto – Balliu Rosell Abidal Maxwell – Riverola Busquets Iniesta – Cuenca Soriano Jeffren

  5. July 23, 2011

    Tell ya one thing: Our shirts are ugliness.

    • K_legit
      July 23, 2011

      maybe its the shite streams but I don’t mind them to be honest

      • Noslehcimretep
        July 23, 2011

        it’s the streams, we’re obviously going for the blehgrana look.

  6. K_legit
    July 23, 2011

    Woah Jeffren shit the bed there

    • Miguel
      July 23, 2011

      Why is he playing? Seeing him still at the club makes me so angry.

      • K_legit
        July 23, 2011

        well to be fair to Jeffren, he has been pretty effective on the left side of attack so far

      • Miguel
        July 23, 2011

        Don’t care. He is dead to me. 😛

  7. y2k156
    July 23, 2011

    Good to see Barca back in action. Shirts are not that bad. QF is not that big on shirts.

    We controlled the match. Second half was much better but it also had to do with more first 11 players being on pitch and that too in critical areas. Villa was good in first half and i really liked Dalmau. Iniesta was fab in second half and also Soriano was good. Thiago was excellent too.

    Afellay was trying too hard in first half and was not impressive. Jeffren showed again why we want to sell him. He has good skills but something is missing.

    Would have liked few goals:).

  8. ciaran
    July 23, 2011

    I just fell over trying to get my head around the Bojan deal.
    How can it be that we are obligated to buy Bojan?
    Poor Bojan doesn’t really know anything about his future other than he is definitely going to be playing for Roma next year.
    What will happen if someone wants to buy Bojan next year for example? Technically Roma will own him.
    What ever happened to actually buying a player?

  9. Ryan
    July 23, 2011

    Wow, Paolo Guerrero just scored a hat trick for Peru. Unless Suarez lights it up in the final, it looks like he’ll be the top scorer of the Copa America. I was kinda hoping Aguerro would sneak away with joint top scorer with 3 goals. 😛

    • Dani_el
      July 23, 2011

      He’s the top goal scorer as of now. I hope he’s regarded as the best player in Copa America, as with Forlan in the WC, Guerrero and Vargas carried the team with their experience and courage.

  10. Dani_el
    July 23, 2011

    Dont like the shirts, the golden words “qatar foundation”…well.. at least he have unicef on the back. Nice movements for Jeffren, Thiago, Iniesta, Abi! We have to look on Soriano, it was nice to see the team after so long!

    Peru got the third place, an awesome game! really exciting against Venezuela, and an incredible Guerrero, 3 goals and one assist…awesome!! Vamos Peru!

  11. July 23, 2011

    So, I’ll ask the same question here that I asked on them there Twitters:

    If Hleb and Ibrahimovic were excoriated for making unflattering comments about Guardiola when they left, why isn’t Krkic?

    Recall that Hleb called Guardiola unfair and said that he played favorites, Ibrahimovic derisively called him “philosopher” and Krkic called him unfair (again) and said it sucked that he didn’t get to play in the CL Final.

    Hleb started brightly then faded. The reasons for his departure were clear. Ibrahimovic started brightly, ultimately displaced by Krkic and didn’t like it one bit. Krkic started brightly, faded to ineffectiveness at the end. All three seem similar cases.

    Have received some interesting responses on Twitter, want to ask here, as well.

    • Vj
      July 23, 2011

      Bojan: “Guardiola is the best coach in the world, but of course I don’t agree with some of the decisions he has made.”

      Sugarcoating 😀

    • Ryan
      July 23, 2011

      I suppose age has part to do with it. Bojan, at 20, is afforded some rashness and bone-headed comments that youth is typified by.

    • FalseNine
      July 23, 2011

      Because Bojan phrased things carefully, he said nice things about Pep (“the best possible coach”) but said he disagreed with some of “the decisions”. That turns it from a personal thing to a professional thing; he likes the man and respects his overall performance, just wishes the man had made different choices in regards to him. Honestly, it’s pretty hard to criticize that, even if you don’t agree with him.

    • Lou
      July 23, 2011

      For me, I was annoyed by Hleb as he seemed to make very little effort to try and integrate into the squad and then complained bitterly about begin left out. I remember watching the Copa final in 2009 and afterwards, one of the Spanish journalists tried to talk to Hleb but he refused to say a word of Spanish. Not good. You can fault Bojan for many things, but lack of effort isn’t one.

      I’m not as outraged by Ibra as some, but I do think his comments about Pep were way out of line and far beyond what Bojan has said.

      Bojan’s words do sound a bit bitter, but I’d be very interested to hear what questions he was responding to. As we all know with the Fabregas situation, the media often ask leading questions and take answers out of context.

      All in all I think Bojan’s quotes make clear that it was time for him too go. It’s not good for the team to have unhappy players in the squad. Best of luck to him.

    • Dani_el
      July 23, 2011

      I’ve read that Pep said that he didnt have any involvement with the buy back clause, it seems he didn´t want to come back, still Pep may not be there in a couple of years, I think they should have ask him anyway.

    • blitzen
      July 23, 2011

      Well I did call him whiny and self-pitying up above. What more do you want? The only really “bad” thing he said was that the club had been “unfair” to him. If he is talking about not giving him minutes, then I disagree. Pep did everything he could to give him playing time, and not just in Copa matches, either. But he failed to perform to expectations, so what else could Pep do? He benched him.

      The one thing I do think the club did that was unfair to him is making him wait until the Sanchez deal was wrapped up before they finalized his Roma transfer. I don’t understand the reason for that at all. Was it just in case Sanchez didn’t happen and they could cancel the Roma deal? That would be ridiculous. And if not, then what? Just for publicity reasons? Very unfair to keep Bojan around kicking his heels when everyone knew he was leaving. Uncomfortable.

  12. July 23, 2011

    Oh, and I want to see me some more Soriano. Pronto.

    • blitzen
      July 23, 2011

      Well, you’d better hurry, they have been trying to sell him all summer.

    • Dani_el
      July 23, 2011

      A kind of Dinho smile. I hope he stays happy for a longer time!

  13. Judas Pissed
    July 23, 2011

    Could Soriano be our ‘Plan B’ if we kept him & promoted him to first XI?

    • July 23, 2011

      What Guardiola said, post-match,from the Twitters:

      “Soriano is still a Barcelona player and we should take him into account. 32 goals at the B-team means something.” #fcblive

    • Jnice
      July 23, 2011

      Zubizaretta back in early July:

      He contributed a lot to the team this season and we are working with him and his agent to find the best option. We hope a good offer comes through, both for him and the club. If none arrives, Jonathan still has a contract with Barça B, so he will join us for training on the 11th and will work normally, despite knowing that he has no chance of moving up to the first team.”

      • July 23, 2011

        Hmmm, wonder if that’s still true, what ZubiZa said?

      • Jnice
        July 23, 2011

        Pretty sure it is. Nothing has really changed from now until then. We lost Bojan, but acquired Sanchez. Same numbers.

      • Jnice
        July 23, 2011

        from then until now*

    • beeeef
      July 23, 2011

      Lets start taking bets for which young manager/Barca-b player combo will be in Barcelona in two years time.

      AVB/Romeu, LE/Bojan, etc

      • beeeef
        July 23, 2011

        I’ve thought about this deal more and decided if Barca intend on using the buyback option, 5m and an 8m buyback is not bad at all. But if we’re just selling the guy to add money to the BringBackCesc fund, they should have sold a less promising player.

    • outerspacedout
      July 24, 2011

      Okay, total about-turn regarding Neymar. A Spongebob T-shirt AND Spongebob shorts? I love the guy! Buy him already whoo!

  14. BA
    July 23, 2011

    the new shirts are ugly.

  15. July 24, 2011

    The new shirts suck……………

    Could someone help me understand the Bojan deal which we sign?

    My understanding is the Roma has signed a two yer deal with the player. The 12 Million transfer fee will be given to us only in July, 2013. But at the end of 2012-13 season we are obliged to bid for him at 13 Million. Now that means we will have to pay Roma 1 Million to keep the player, if he proves at least half of his potential. But what happens if Bojan does not agree to such a deal at end of 2012-13 season. Will he become a free player? If yes, then this could become a very foolish deal. A two year loan with Roma paying 100% of his salary would have been a much better option.

  16. Olufestus
    July 24, 2011

    I dont play the piano,but am always on keys…

    • Judas Pissed
      July 24, 2011

      Oopsy…

    • Eklavya
      July 24, 2011

      WOW. Ahahahahahah

  17. Diego
    July 24, 2011

    @Outerspacedout

    Your words were very true, I only came to realize this 7 months later. #revolution

  18. mei
    July 24, 2011

    We need more posts and comments from BarcelonaFootballBlog!

  19. Kariyanna
    July 24, 2011

    So Basically we have had a new number 9 every season with Pep.

    • FalseNine
      July 24, 2011

      Kept the same number 10 though, so I’m good.

      (and the 6, and the 8….)

  20. BA
    July 24, 2011

    does anyone know who exactly will be traveling on the U.S. tour? will Messi, Dani Alves et. al be available? will Sanchez be included? no info on the club site as of yet.

  21. July 24, 2011

    Alexis gets the number 9.

    • ciaran
      July 24, 2011

      hopefully not, it’s apparently cursed.
      He seems more like an ’11’.

      • July 24, 2011

        He does, but Jeffren is still here :/

      • FalseNine
        July 24, 2011

        Nope, it’s official, jersey number 9 with the name “Alexis”

        http://twitter.com/#!/FCBarcelona_cat/status/95191397027688448

        And it’s not cursed at all. Eto’o did it great justice. Zlatan did the usual for Zlatan. Only Bojan wilted under its pressure, and that’s not the number’s fault.

  22. mega_tajh
    July 24, 2011

    Looks like his shirt name will be Alexis only.

    • yana
      July 24, 2011

      Interesting. He’s been “Sanchez” with both Chile and Udinese, yes?

      On a different note: strange distressed patterns on denim. Yes, he fits right in with the fashion disaster Barca midgets.

      • Miguel
        July 24, 2011

        LOL That’s just mean. 😛

  23. FalseNine
    July 24, 2011

    If you’re someone who won’t believe a transfer until you see the player in front of the crest: time to believe.

    http://ow.ly/i/eNPO

    • July 24, 2011

      Ok, now I care.

      Welcome Sanchez! Now to actually go read those 100+ comments on how Sanchez will make us better.

    • Ryan
      July 24, 2011

      Hooray!

  24. yana
    July 24, 2011

    The Copa final is not going to end with 22 on the field. Or possibly even 20. Whether through cards or grevious bodily injury remains to be seen, as both seem very likely given play so far…

    • July 24, 2011

      Most lopsided international tourney final since France ’98?

      • yana
        July 24, 2011

        The Guardian’s live commentary: “I haven’t seen such a one-sided final since May.”

        Ha!

  25. blitzen
    July 24, 2011

    Nice one, Goldie.

    • Ryan
      July 24, 2011

      One day and 14 days since he had scored, according to Univision. Crazy!

      • Miguel
        July 24, 2011

        Happy he broke his duck. I didn’t want to see Larissa naked anyway.

  26. FalseNine
    July 24, 2011

    My favorite crest pic:

    http://ow.ly/i/eNRq

    Alexis looks excited. I am too.

    • July 24, 2011

      To back up yana’s comments above, I don’t know what’s tackier, Alexis’s denim shirt or the giant, faux-gold Barca crest we have hanging around in the office.

  27. mega_tajh
    July 24, 2011

    Of Topic- I know I’ve been away for a while but when did we sell GAEL ETOCK to Chelsea?

  28. Ryan
    July 24, 2011

    Wow, is Goldilocks back? Just scored in the 90th minute.

  29. culegirl3
    July 24, 2011

    What did I miss in the copa?? I’m at at galaxy vs Manchester City game…dying of boredom.

  30. Jackieboy
    July 24, 2011

    I’m a firm believer of Bojan’s talent and I think most of you guys are being way too harsh on him. He’s only turning 21 in a month. The fact that he’s been in the team for some 4 years makes you think he’s older than that, but, well, he isn’t. And there aren’t many players as good as he already is at his age. His main problem was lack of minutes really. When Pep finally began to start him, he scored 2 important goals (winner vs. Getafe, equalizer vs. Sevilla) near the end of the season, in 2 consecutive games. Too bad the injury came next.

    I wish him all the best at Roma and hope he comes back to us in style.

    • July 24, 2011

      I think that many of us believe in Krkic’s talent. I don’t know that any of the comments above imply that some aren’t. I, personally, believe in his talent, but not in his body/temperament. I think he is too small to play the position and way that he wants to play, and that was/is his problem, rather than lack of minutes. Hopefully, some high-quality batterings by Serie A types will help him evolve into a player who understands how to play with the physical gifts that he has, rather than ones that he only thinks he has. The way that he plays sometimes, looks like he thinks that he has Balotelli’s body. He doesn’t, and he never will. He’s best when he takes advantage of his quickness and off-the-ball movement.

      As for temperatment, his departure comments speak to a player who has been fed with a gilded spoon for too long. He was promoted before he was ready because of comments from his entourage that clearly indicated that he might leave the club if such things didn’t happen. Turns out that he did in fact need more time.

      There is nothing wrong with Krkic that an attitude adjustment can’t fix, both in terms of where and how he can play, and his value to a club.

      Apologies if that sounds harsh. That wasn’t the intent.

  31. July 24, 2011

    As for the comments above that we need more posts and comments from BFB. Comments we have plenty of. It’s nice that things thrive and go on without us. The posts will accelerate as more things start to happen. As of late, there’s been a signing, a completely meaningless friendly and a sale. I admit that we wet the bed on the friendly.

    Your BFB team is law students, a Daddy type who is getting married and firmly embroiled in planning a wedding, a teacher planning a new semester and a journalist who, when he isn’t trying to make his section and coverage areas better is spending most waking moments training and competing in bicycle racing.

    As with players, the summer is about renewal and refreshing the passion, and doing other things. I think that Iniesta looked so fresh and dazzling in the friendly because he’d been lazing about, instead of running around playing a World Cup, etc. Hopefully, BFB will benefit in the same way from the summer’s break.

    Thanks to everyone for the great comments, and maintenance of the mood and feel that make this such a great blog. I don’t think we’re going to sell or loan anyone this summer, but if Isaiah and Luke keep vexing me, I might have to see if Roma has interest, and if the number 14-1/2 and 14-3/4 are available.

    (Hehehehe….)

  32. Benj
    July 24, 2011

    I haven’t read through all of the comments but from what I can see, to dumb it down and simplify (with very little economics knowledge)…

    Barca has loaned CT to Lucho for 2 years.

    We are paying them 1m to take him on for 2 years (reverse loan fee), with the option for them to buy at the end of the loan for 28m. They pay 100% of wages in the meantime.

    In essence, no?

    So essentially, they get a minimum of 1m euros and a few goals, possibly alot of goals…

    Luckyyyy

  33. July 24, 2011

    New post up.

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