FC Barcelona is once again sweeping some big names in the transfer market. Joan Laporta’s tactics of purchasing Free Agents has been working wonders for the Catalans who have already acquired a few big names from the footballing world. But today we don’t look at the best but the worst signings ever made by Barcelona.
From Andre Gomes to Ousmane Dembele, the list of Barcelona’s worst signings is endless. A few players like Luis Suarez or Gerrard Pique develop a name for themselves at the club whereas a handful of them leave Spain without stamping their authority. We at FootTheBall take a look at who are the top-10 Barcelona’s worst signings.
The most expensive footballer ever purchased by Barcelona in the transfer market, Coutinho was considered to be the perfect replacement for the departing Neymar. With the flamboyance of cutting inside and curling the ball into the keeper’s roof, Coutinho was a special prospect in the Premier League. The 120 million chicken couldn’t handle the pressure at Camp Nou where he faltered miserably.
Injuries shadowed his stay in Barcelona where he soon became unnecessary baggage. The Brazilian arrived at Camp Nou with the desire to conquer the Champions League but had to shift to Allianz Arena to fulfil his dream when he knocked out the Catalans 8-2 in a shambolic outing.
A reckless signing rather than a thought-out decision, Dembele’s signature cost the Blaugranas a fortune. Dembélé’s eye for goal is without a question his greatest visible talent. He has often demonstrated his ability to pull opponents in and skim through rivals at breakneck speed. He’s demonstrated this prowess in a plethora of situations both on the counterattack and while his team is in command. His flank speed is exceptional, but he can also thrash numerous defenders darting inwards from outside positions.
This enables Dembele to be called a versatile weapon in the penalty area if his side is having trouble breaking through a glued backline. But the ex-Dortmund player couldn’t adapt well in Spain. The catalogue of injuries increased and he spent more time recovering rather than being on the field. His understudies snatched the limelight from the Frenchman who took backstage in no time.
A Turkish midfield maestro, Arda Turan was considered to be the next big magician in the world of football. The so-called replacement of Andres Iniesta, a Barcelona veteran, Turan’s rise to fame hasn’t been through the good side. Banned for throwing a boot at the referee, Turan failed to meet the disciplinary expectations at the club.
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KAPTAN TAKIMIYLA OMUZ OMUZA! @ardaturan#ultrAslan pic.twitter.com/hZ0Oh4ZBdo
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Barcelona’s theory of fielding their youngsters replaced Turan’s sorcery in the middle of the park. The 34 million dollars ex-Atletico player soon became a benchwarmer at the club, rarely finding his name in the starting eleven. With exceptional passing abilities and a magnificent vision, Turan could have been a star at the club if he would have learned to stay away from conflicts and controversies.
One of Barcelona’s shady transactions that left a team in limbo was the acquisition of Malcolm. Bordeaux’s Malcolm had decided to play for Italian giants Roma. Unfortunately for the Romans, Barcelona stepped in at the final moments to sabotage the agreement and take Malcolm from underneath their eyes. The left-footed sensation found it difficult adapting to Ernesto Valverde’s system.
👍 Malcom 👍#EnjoyMalcom
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) July 25, 2018
The boring Catalan manager pulled out the explosiveness from Malcolm’s playing style, forcing him to acquire a more defensive role. The winger donned the prestigious Catalans jersey only 15 times before being tossed to other parts of Europe.
In 2008, Alexander Hleb signed a €17 million deal with Barca. Barcelona anticipated huge promises from Hleb, who had a €90 million termination option in his agreement. On the limited times when he did play, the attacker just couldn’t establish his position in the senior squad and was a huge disappointment.
A participant of Barcelona’s high-flying campaigns, Hleb had very little contributions, and that’s how everything started to go wrong. The Belarus winger had made an impression during his 3 years at the Gunners, but his 36 games for Barcelona were swiftly ignored, as he struggled to strike throughout his stint at the Spanish team.
A sumptuous and splendid Gunner’s project Alex Song was busy, enthralling everyone with his exploits, particularly Barcelona. Song’s destiny was out in the air for a while, but Barcelona was able to grab the versatile African in the end.
#FCBlive FC Barcelona and Alex Song agree to cancel contract https://t.co/QLhupY5la7 pic.twitter.com/ZcCzrWLuNC
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 1, 2016
Unfortunately, Song could rarely transform himself according to the club’s system, and his recurrent absences were a continual source of stress for the club. Song never redeemed himself at Camp Nou as he failed to reach his full potential and was soon loaned out to the Hammers. And from there Song’s decline never took a u-turn.
Keirrison appeared to be a talented youngster when he joined Barcelona after a handful of successful seasons with two domestic Brazilian outfits and was regarded as one of the greatest Brazilian potentials at the moment. At that point, the European tigers shifted their attention to Keirrison and decided to sign the fresh blood for €14 million.
He arrived in Barcelona as a talent worth considering based on his great showings in his own nation, but it hardly materialised. The Brazilian ‘K9’ was tossed to Portuguese outfit Benfica after his tenure at Camp Nou lasted only a week. From an amazing talent to a Brazilian flop, Keirrison’s aspirations were soon demolished as he turned out to be a regretful purchase for Barcelona’s administration.
Dmytro Chygrynskiy was a strange acquisition by the Spanish monsters, as he only stayed for a single campaign with the Catalan squad, which was a dreadful experience for the defender. Barca completed a €25 million deal for the towering defender who could change the game with his rock-solid defensive techniques after long discussions with Shakhtar Donetsk.
Chygrynskiy was signed for his acrobatic skills and passing abilities, but the Ukrainian couldn’t match the momentum and expectations of Guardiola’s managerial wizardry. After gracing the Nou Camp pitch just 10-15 times, Chygrynskiy was abandoned by the club as he was left searching for a new home.
In 2014, Barcelona went berserk in the transfer window. Acquiring players from different countries, seemed like a long-term shopping plan. One of the key additions to the Catalans’ roster was Brazilian Douglas Pereira. A dirt-cheap buy, Periera could have revamped the situation at Camp Nou with his excellent strength and passing abilities.
The right-back had the capabilities of defending like a wall when required and sneaking up front for belting crosses in the box. But a player popular for his bizarre debut, Pereira became a laughing point for the Barcelona fans as some of them started calling him Barcelona’s worst signings. Losing his place to a rising Sergio Roberto, Pereira had to pack his bags and leave for Gijon to make a name in the market.
The silver lining in Portugal’s Euro 2016 winning campaign, Andre Gomes was a hidden gem. Commanding Fernando Santos’ midfield, Gomes provided the right amount of balance while attacking and defending. The knack of netting crucial strikes bolstered his Player CV and Barcelona capitalised on Gomes’ rise to glory. But his arrival in Spain wasn’t a fairytale story.
🔴🔵 1 year ago I signed for FC Barcelona 🙏. Can't wait to be back 💪! #tb #FCBarcelona #ForçaBarça pic.twitter.com/JP0zbP0Nkl
— André Gomes (@aftgomes) July 27, 2017
The Portuguese encountered immense hatred from the fans who voted him as the Worst Signing of the Year. With pressure mounting high on Gomes’ young shoulder he failed to unlock his potential and the Camp Nou couldn’t witness his talents. The midfielder was loaned to Everton after his love affair with Barcelona’s bench stretched for a couple of seasons. From Iniesta’s replacement to one of the worst signings in the modern history of Barcelona, Gomes’ tenure at Camp Nou immensely depleted.