Barcelona kicked off their new La Liga campaign with a great struggle. That is mostly because of their injury woes, with trio Ousmane Dembele, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez all sidelined with injuries. Not to mention the injuries by second-choice goalkeeper Neto, and defenders’ Samuel Umtiti and Nelson Semedo. However, their lack of transfer window activity is also to be blamed for the slow start of the season.
In an everlasting summer transfer saga, the Spanish champions managed to secure the signature of Antoine Griezmann from rivals Atletico Madrid and earlier, of Ajax’s youth product Frenkie de Jong in a combined fee of almost €200 million. And basically, that is where they stopped any special transfer activity this summer.
They eventually lured defender Junior Firpo, who impressed last season with Real Bestis, but soon enough, he was also sent to the infirmary with an injury. One of the protagonists of last season’s transfer sagas, Malcom left the club after a disappointing short spell with the club. Brazilian playmaker Coutinho also left Camp Nou after only a year at the club, a move that pointed out Barcelona’s poor squad planning during the past years. He was joined by Paco Alcacer, one of 2018/19 Bundesliga jewels, who left for Borussia Dortmund on a permanent deal, after spending the previous season on loan there.
Overall, the Blaugrana rather brought less quality and feature, than they sold.
3. Manchester United
Manchester United kicked off their transfer window with a sweetener. They confirmed the capture of the young Daniel James, and welcome Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire before the transfer window officially shut. In addition, the main interest of Real Madrid and Juventus, Paul Pogba stayed put, but to the player’s disappointment, since he publicly revealed his desire to leave Old Trafford.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is successful in his pursuit by clearing out a majority chunk, but there are no replacements for them. The lack of incomings has already started to hurt the Red Devils, who will be lucky to finish in the Champions League spot this season. They recouped nearly €70 million, with a majority through Romelu Lukaku. The midfield area has been a mess in the first three Premier League games and the Norwegian boss doesn’t have many options to call on to change it. Nemanja Matic looks so leggy, Fred has basically been discarded and Ander Herrera has joined Paris Saint-Germain.
The Red Devils need are in need of many reinforcements, such as a centre-back, left-back, defensive midfielder, box-to-box midfielder, winger, and striker. As time goes, the season will only get tougher for them with such a thin squad.