Opinion: 2 key players Barcelona need to offload before the end of the transfer window
Barcelona's performance during last season was a mixed bag. The club dominated La Liga by winning the League with 87 points, and there was a gap of 11 points between them and second-placed Atletico Madrid. Despite their superb domestic form, they failed to conquer Europe as Liverpool defeated them in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final. Furthermore, the morale of the team dropped even more as they lost 1-2 to Valencia in the Copa del Rey final.
To mount a serious challenge for the Champions League next season, the Barcelona hierarchy will have to induce new blood in the side along with making tough decisions regarding who will remain at the club next season. The arrival of Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong has added the much-needed muscle to the side. There could be some big stars who might leave the club at the end of this transfer window.
Let us have a look at the two key players Barcelona need to offload before the end of the transfer window.
Rakitic established himself as one of the best centre-midfielders in the world during his stay at Barcelona. He is comfortable in possession, has the vision to find his teammates in important areas on the field, and is a proficient long-range shooter. Having joined Barcelona in 2014, Rakitic has become a senior player in the squad, formed a partnership with Busquets in the midfield. He has also helped his side win four La Liga, four Copa del Reys, and one Champions League title since his arrival.
With the arrival of the talented Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong in this summer, Rakitic is now surplus to requirement at the Nou Camp. Hence, the Barcelona hierarchy is looking to offload him before the end of the transfer window.
Despite being included in Barcelona's pre-season squad, it is highly likely that Rakitic will leave Barcelona and look for greener pastures.
Coutinho had a horrible last season at the Nou Camp. He was unable to create enough chances for his side, lacked efficiency, and failed to combine with Messi and Suarez. His worst performance came against his former club Liverpool in the Champions League semi-final. In that match, he looked completely out of touch and hence was substituted in the second half.
In 34 La Liga matches, Coutinho was able to score just five goals. For his national team Brazil, Coutinho's performance has been exemplary as he has helped them clinch their ninth Copa America.
Having been bought by Barcelona for a whopping figure of £105m from Liverpool in 2018, Coutinho has failed to justify the amount invested. If Antoine Griezmann clicks with the frontline this season, it will only make his stay tougher at the club. A player of Countinho's calibre who has been playing out of position at Barcelona since his arrival at the club certainly deserves a second chance and a move away might just be the trigger he needs.