No Messi, no Griezmann - How Barcelona will line up this season

Martin Macdonald
Memphis Depay, Barcelona v Getafe, 2021-22

Barcelona's unprecedently strange transfer window took another strange turn on deadline day when Antoine Griezmann completed a sensational return on loan to Atletico Madrid.

The Blaugrana were forced to act quickly to find a replacement, and eventually settled on Sevilla striker Luuk de Jong.

This summer, Barcelona have been unable to bring in any big money acquisitions due to the perilous financial state of the club.

Not only is spending money a no-go, but they have been ordered by La Liga to slash their wage budget to meet new regulations.

The new regulations state that a club must not spend more than 70% of their annual turnover on player wages.

Last season, Barcelona were spending around 105% of their annual turnover on salaries.

Until this number was brought down, the club were not allowed to register new players, which left Ronald Koeman sweating over the availability of Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia.

Crucially, Barcelona were also unable to engineer the return of Lionel Messi, who left on a free transfer to Paris Saint-Germain as Barca could not bring him back.

Griezmann moved to Camp Nou for €120 million in the summer of 2019, but has ultimately failed to find the form that saw him become one of the best forwards in the world at Atletico.

Eventually, Barcelona were only too happy to allow him to return to Atletico to get his exorbitant wages off the balance sheet.

With plenty of departures and a few incomings, how will Barcelona line up when everyone is fit?

Potential Barcelona starting XI

Marc-Andre ter Stegen remains one of a handful of truly world class players who remain at the club, and he will start in goal after missing the first couple of games due to injury, with Neto in reserve.

Sergino Dest has made the right-back position his own, with Jordi Alba featuring on the left.

Barcelona XI 2021/22

Gerard Pique and Garcia should be first choice in the middle of the defence, with Ronald Araujo, Oscar Mingueza, Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti available too.

Sergio Busquets, Pedri and Frenkie de Jong will make up the midfield three.

Miralem Pjanic failed to get his desired move back to Juventus, so he is still available though will probably not play much.

Riqui Puig and Sergi Roberto should see a decent amount of playing time also.

Now that Messi and Griezmann are gone, Barcelona are severely lacking in talent at the top of the pitch.

Memphis is now, quite suddenly, the club's main man, and he will support Aguero from the left when the Argentine is fit.

On the right you could see Ansu Fati come back in when he finally recovers from injury. He does prefer playing on the left, though, so Memphis may be asked to switch over.

Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho, Yusuf Demir, Martin Braithwaite and new signing De Jong will play a part, too.