5 players who are approaching the end of their Barcelona careers
Donning the blue of FC Barcelona is a dream come true for any football player. Barcelona are one of the biggest clubs not just in the footballing sense but as a brand as well. The Blaugrana have boasted the biggest players in footballing history on the roster and that trend continues as few clubs can rival the sheer quality that the Catalans possess on their payroll.
However, certain players at the Camp Nou are deemed surplus to requirements, past their best or not good enough to play for Barcelona anymore. Here are 5 players who look certain to leave the club.
#1 Arda Turan
Arda Turan is one of the fieriest characters in football. The Turkish winger was perfectly suited to Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid given his tenacity and hardworking nature.
However, things simply haven't worked out for Turan in Catalonia. In his debut season, the Turk was confined to the role of a rotational player and failed to impress when he was handed an opportunity. He didn't make a single appearance for Barca in the 2017-18 season and has been shipped out to Istanbul Basaksehir on a loan deal. In Turkey, he hasn't done himself any favours, assaulting a referee and receiving a 10-game ban for his actions. Surely his career at any top level club is now over.
#2 Thomas Vermaelen
When Thomas Vermaelen arrived from Arsenal in 2014, it was a very surprising move from Barcelona to sign the Belgian considering his long history of injuries and his age. Vermaelen has endured the same horrid luck with injuries at Barcelona, being immediately sidelined in his debut season.
Despite winning the treble and a few more trophies, Vermaelen isn't a regular starter in defense. Pique is a constant for Barcelona and the duo of Lenglet and Umtiti represent an exciting pairing for the future. Vermaelen could do with a move to a side where he can find regular playing time and wind down his career.
#3 Jasper Cillessen
Jasper Cillessen was signed to replace the outgoing Claudio Bravo and has been second choice keeper since his arrival. Marc-Andre ter Stegen is currently one of the best keepers in the world and is a reliable custodian in goal. Barring a dramatic loss of form, Cillessen is not going to make a claim to be first choice keeper and could look for a move elsewhere to gain playing time, whether on loan or on a permanent deal.
The former Ajax man is still a very good player and could do a job for most sides in Europe.
#4 Andre Gomes
Andre Gomes is considered to be a purchase made by Barcelona just to beat Real Madrid to the Portuguese midfielder's signature. Gomes had a torrid time at Barcelona and finds himself currently on loan at Everton. He failed to displace the trio of Rakitic, Iniesta and Busquets in his time at the club and was generally poor and unimpressive when given a run in the side. The especially worrying feature of his Barcelona career was the abuse he received from Barcelona fans.
It's doubtful that Gomes would want to return to Catalonia after his loan elapses or that Barcelona fans would want him back.
#5 Munir El-Haddadi
Munir will be remembered for scoring on his Barcelona league debut in 2014 and was nominated for the Golden Boy Award in the same year. The winger then experienced a plateau in his career as he was no longer a regular in Barcelona's squads for the next two years or so. Two loan spells at Valencia and Alaves followed where the Spaniard had decent spells. Munir is currently at Barcelona but he doesn't possess the quality that a Barcelona winger would be required to have. At 23 years of age, he can't be considered a prospect either.
The departure of fringe players would also allow youngsters from the esteemed La Masia Academy to come closer to making their first team debuts strengthening Barcelona's philosophy of 'Mes Ques Une Club' and freeing the wage bill at the same time.Modified 20 Dec 2019, 19:49 IST