It's fair to say that all the optimism around Ronald Koeman's project revamp went out of the window after Barcelona were humbled 3-1 at home by Real Madrid last Saturday. Many had thought that Barcelona would have the upper-hand in the first El Clasico of the 2020-21 season, as Real Madrid came into the game after two shock home losses.
However, Zinedine Zidane's men came good when it mattered most. As a result Barcelona, who also lost to Getafe in the league the previous weekend before an easy win in the UEFA Champions League, will now have to go back to the drawing board.
With Juventus in the mix in their Champions League group, things will only get trickier for the Blaugrana as they attempt to resurrect their fortunes amidst the ruins of a disappointing 2019-20 season.
5 most valuable Barcelona players
Koeman has jettisoned a lot of players but has managed to hold on to talisman Lionel Messi, which was a big coup for Barcelona. The Dutch tactician hasn't done much in terms of incoming business in the market yet, and all the expensive players in Barcelona's books were acquired before he took over the reins of the club.
Most Barcelona players, like Ousmane Dembele, have suffered a fall in their market values since joining the club, signifying the trough the club has hit. On that note, let us take a look at the five most expensive players in the Barcelona roster.
#5 Frenkie de Jong - €70 million
The versatile Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong is the fifth-most expensive player in the Barcelona roster. De Jong, who is capable of playing across a variety of positions, first came into prominence as part of the brilliant Ajax team that made it to the Champions League semi-finals in 2018-19.
Though Barcelona have been inconsistent in recent times, De Jong has been a fixture in their midfield and has been one of their better performers during a turbulent period for the club.
With Koeman's arrival, De Jong's development as one of the most promising midfielders of his generation looks set to continue at Barcelona for a while.
#4 Marc-Andre ter Stegen - €75 million
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen's reputation might have been dented a bit during Barcelona's 2-8 hammering by Bayern Munich in the Champions League last season.
He definitely lost his personal duel with Manuel Neuer on the night, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen remains one of the premier goalkeepers of the world and one of Barcelona's pillars.
He has won four Liga titles and one Champions League trophy with the club and will be hoping to be one of the stars who help the club climb back to the lofty heights it once occupied.