Barcelona’s transfer activity in the years following the departure of Neymar have been tumultuous. Huge fees on players whom have failed to have the serious impact the club have so desperately needed.
The signings of Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho and Antoine Griezmann display a level of panic from the club. Neymar’s departure and the dip in the club’s fortunes with the losses against Roma and Liverpool in the Champions League paint a picture of decline.
However, the club could have been in a much healthier place had the proposals of former director Javier Bordas been listened to. In an interview with Mundo Deportivo, Bordas claimed he recommended a number of players to the club for them not to materialise.
Bordas claimed that Courtois could have come in and even partnered Andre Ter Stegen. Alvaro Morata could have signed from Chelsea but instead the club signed Kevin Prince Boateng. Valencia’s Ferran Torres who now plays for City and Dinamo Zagreb’s Dani Olmo now at RB Leipzig could have both supposedly joined.
All these players moved for fees significantly lower than the aforementioned trio of Dembele, Coutinho and Griezmann. The technical secretaries during the period were Robert Fernandez who reigned for 3 years and he was replaced in 2018 by former Barcelona left-back Eric Abidal. The Frenchman did not last long and was replaced in August of this year by Ramon Planes after the 8-2 thrashing by Bayern Munich.
❗ LATEST NEWS – Ramon Planes, new technical director for Barça pic.twitter.com/JQq6Z9r7xb
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 19, 2020
One of the key names Javier Bordas claims the club missed out on is Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland. The Norwegian was tearing up the Austrian Bundesliga and Champions League with Red Bull Salzburg but eventually left to sign for the German giants.
Want to learn more about Haaland, 101 have profiled the striker and you can find out more here.
Bordas says when asked why the club didn’t go for Haaland it was, “Because they told me that I was not a Barça player. I understand that Bartomeu ignores the technical secretary, but the truth is that these players could have come, and then you don’t know what performance they are going to give.”
Since his arrival in Dortmund, Haaland has continued his prolific form. Meanwhile, Barcelona parted ways with Luis Suarez who joined Atletico Madrid and is currently joint second of the scoring charts on 5 goals. Ronald Koeman’s goals have come from wonderkid Ansu Fati with 4, Lionel Messi playing both centrally and on the right (3) and Griezmann who has just 2.
Whether or not the Barcelona DNA was within Haaland, the Norwegian striker being fed by the likes of Messi and Fati would have been a sight to behold. Should Barcelona step away from the Blaugrana ‘normal’ and adapt? Maybe. Done correctly and with the right signings the ‘Cruyffian’ style could still succeed but the management of the club is some way off recreating perfection.