Barcelona didn’t have the greatest of seasons last time around. Not only were they knocked out of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid, they also lost the League to the same club, on the final day to boot when a victory would have given them the title.
Not only that, there were cracks emerging in their style of play, which the opposition started working out. Although Messi was scoring goals, he wasn’t the Messi of old, it looked as though something was missing. On top of all this, they were also banned from signing players for two consecutive transfer windows.
In the middle of all of this mayhem, there was one bright light, emanating from their season. And that was the form of Alexis Sanchez, the Chilean winger who had initially struggled to settle into the style at Barcelona, finally found his way. And what Barcelona done this summer, they have gone out and sold their best player from last season to Arsenal. On the face of it, it looks like a stupid decision, but the fact was that they needed the money from Sanchez and Fabregas, to buy Suarez. Even then, it doesn’t look like a great move for the club and here are three reasons why.
It sends out the wrong message
With Luis Enrique coming in, there were talks of massive clear out in the summer. So far, the new Barcelona manager has been true to his word. Fabregas had already been moved on last month and Sanchez’s turn this time around. While the sale of Fabregas certainly seems like a good move, considering that he never quite fit into the club, the sale of Sanchez sends out the wrong message to the fans.
It means that the club has to sell their best player from last season to buy a marquee player in Luis Suarez. Although Sanchez struggled initially, he looked to have settled in at Barcelona and proving to be a threat on the wings. He showed that in the World Cup too, when he had a phenomenal tournament and was his country’s best player on the pitch. At a time when his stock is at an all-time high, selling a player who is only 25 to a Champions League rival doesn’t instill the fans with any real confidence.
Leaves them short in attack for the start of the upcoming season
The sale of the Chilean winger was without a doubt to bring in Luis Suarez as the club is a little cash-strapped at the moment. While that might or might not prove to be a good move in the long run, right now it doesn’t look like a good time to sell. His sale now means that Barcelona gone into a new season, with a suspended striker in Suarez, an injured attacker in Neymar and only Messi, who might well be exhausted from his World Cup exploits are the solitary established attacker in the starting lineup.
While the departure of Sanchez means that the club will finally have a mobile Number nine in the form of Luis Suarez, the timing of the move is far from perfect. With Suarez suspended from all football activities for four months, Neymar’s recovery still undecided, Barcelona are left short on numbers in attack. While they might have Pedro and Tello, they are nowhere near in the same league as Suarez and Neymar, which might make their start to the 2014/15 tricky.
Deprives them of variety in attack
If there was one criticism that was always levied at Barcelona, it was their lack of a Plan B. Up until a couple of seasons ago, their Plan A was so good that they never needed a plan B, but the fact is that teams have started to work out how to play against them. As a result, the Catalans have had to find alternate ways of playing apart from their usual style.
In Sanchez, they had a different player in attack. Here was a guy, who maybe doesn’t the pass the ball as much and isn’t as good in the possession-based style as some of the others, but someone who gave them an alternative in attack. For he, was a tricky customer on the wings and, was a more traditional winger, when compared to the others at Barcelona. He was someone who could not only create plenty of chances for himself, but could also be clinical in his finishing. His departure now means that they will again be congested in the middle of the park and won’t have an outlet on the wings.