BARCELONA (Reuters) - Paco Alcacer took a gamble that has not paid off so far when he moved from Valencia to Barcelona for 30 million euros ($31.9 million) in August.
A regular starter at Valencia, the Spanish forward left his hometown club and signed a five-year contract with Barca to become their fourth attacking option along with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
Barcelona put the headline "Goals Guaranteed" on their website when they announced Alcacer's signing but in eight appearances for the Catalan club he has yet to find the net.
Alcacer did not take advantage of a rare start given to him by coach Luis Enrique on Saturday against Malaga with Messi and Suarez ruled out, failing to touch the ball in the opening half hour and not having a shot on target in 90 minutes.
The 23-year-old has had only three shots on goal for Barca and a lack of synergy with his team mates was again evident on Saturday as it was in his previous starts, a 4-2 defeat by Las Palmas and a 2-1 win at Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.
Luis Enrique put on a brave face after the Malaga game.
"I think he is at the level of the team. I give everyone a B+, including Alcacer," Luis Enrique said.
But Alcacer, included in Spain coach Julen Lopetegui's first squad in August, has not been called up to the national team since his transfer and with Messi and Suarez set to return to action for Barca this week he may have to wait for another chance.
($1 = 0.9412 euros)
(Reporting by Adriana Garcia, editing by Ed Osmond)