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3 Barcelona players from whom more was expected in the pre-season

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
9.22K   //    14 Aug 2019, 14:50 IST

Ernesto Valverde
Ernesto Valverde

Barcelona closed their pre-season with a convincing 4-0 win over Napoli, and there are many positives to take from the tour as the club won four of their five friendly games.

The Catalans have splashed hundreds of millions of pounds to sign well-known players such as Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong. Several of Barcelona's new players showed their worth during the campaign too.

However, Ernesto Valverde still has a few problems to solve.

The LaLiga side were without their talisman Lionel Messi throughout their pre-season tour. Despite Messi's absence, Barcelona didn't face any significant difficulty in scoring as they managed to find the net in each of their friendly games. But their defense was leaky at times.

The attack didn't suffer much in Messi's absence
The attack didn't suffer much in Messi's absence

The LaLiga champions conceded two goals against Chelsea in their opening pre-season match and struggled to contain Arsenal's attack during the Joan Gamper Cup.

Here, we look at three Barcelona players who would be expected to do more in the season proper than they did in the pre-season tour.

1. Antoine Griezmann

FC Barcelona v Arsenal - Pre-Season Friendly
FC Barcelona v Arsenal - Pre-Season Friendly

The World cup winner has been Barcelona's most expensive signing in this window so far. Barcelona forked out a massive €120 million to trigger Griezmann's release clause just a month ago.

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Many expect the Frenchman to be a big hit at Camp Nou due to his enormous price tag. But Barcelona are already well-stacked in the attack department, so the former Atletico star has a big challenge ahead to cement a regular place in Valverde's side.

Griezmann's pre-season display was below par, as the 28-year-old scored just once over five games. His only brilliant moment came when Barcelona thrashed Napoli 4-0.

Griezmann did make some nice movements and was able to link up well with Luis Suarez at times. However, his position could be under serious threat if Messi plays.

Suarez was solid throughout the pre-season and is now Barcelona's likeliest first-choice striker. On the other hand, Ousmane Dembele was one of the team's best performers during the tour.

Hence, Griezmann could have to fight for a place in the team, although he can play either as a winger or a striker.

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