Three signings in three days: How transformed Barca are shaping up for 2020/21
Barcelona have acted swiftly in the transfer market to complete deals for Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia and Emerson Royal.
President Joan Laporta has thus far made good on his promise to make a flurry of signings – and it is expected that Liverpool midfielder Gini Wijnaldum and Lyon attacker Memphis Depay will both follow imminently.
What is most remarkable about these deals, is that Barcelona could sign the five players for a sum total of €9 million. While four – Aguero, Garcia, Wijnaldum and Depay – all arrived under the freedom of contract rules, Emerson will join up from Real Betis, where he had been on loan from the Camp Nou side for the last two seasons after the Seville club helped pay for his transfer from Atletico Mineiro.
With five fresh faces in the squad, Barcelona are set to look very different next season, with a good deal more depth to their ranks.
But, assuming Memphis and Wijnaldum both sign, how is this likely to translate onto the field?
How Barcelona will line up in 2020/21
Aguero should win the battle to be the first-choice No.9 given that Barcelona lack another high-quality player in that area. Surely all this depends on will be his fitness.
There is a doubt as to whether the great Lionel Messi will stay, but the odds appear in Barca’s favour at present, so expect to see him deployed off the right of the attack, with Antoine Griezmann potentially moved into his favoured role as a No.10 with new addition Memphis operating on the left in competition with the fit-again Ansu Fati.
Sergio Busquets has been part of the furniture at Barcelona for more than a decade but this could be the year that he finally loses a regular spot, with Wijnaldum and Frenkie de Jong set to feature in an all-Dutch combination that would offer more energy.
There has been some talk of Gerard Pique moving on in defence, but it is likelier that Samuel Umtiti is sacrificed, with Garcia competing with Ronald Araujo and Oscar Mingueza to start in a rearguard that could be deployed with two or three centre-backs.
Finally, the arrival of Emerson on the right will give Sergino Dest and Sergi Roberto real competition on that flank, with Barcelona keen to emphasise the Brazilian’s attacking attributes when he arrived from Betis.
With Aguero, Garcia and Emerson – and potentially Wijnaldum and Memphis – Barcelona will clearly cut a more intimidating prospect next season.