When a year is at its end, we often tend to review the bygone days in an attempt to see how things have fared over the calendar. And so it is not a surprising thing when I attempt to dig into the past and try to unearth the worst things for Barcelona.
2017 was a year to forget for the Camp Nou outfit, although they have salvaged something with their second-half performances this year. The thing is, they have only one trophy to show for in 2017, which is something that can’t be deemed as successful by any means.
Since they didn’t win any trophies, some of the blame has to go on individual performances. And hence, here are 5 of the worst players for Barcelona in 2017…
#5 Aleix Vidal
In the beginning of 2017, things started to go well for the former Sevilla right-back. However, an injury forced him to sit out of the field and lose his spot to Sergi Roberto. The young Barcelona midfielder was chosen to play out of position at right-back instead of Vidal, who is a natural in that position.
And then the Catalans signed Nelson Semedo to fill up the void left by the departure of Dani Alves. You see, Aleix Vidal was supposed to be the heir to the throne left by the Brazilian. Indeed, just like the current PSG star, Vidal came to Barcelona from Sevilla.
However, his 2017 was one to forget as injuries and the resulting lack of form caused him to stay away from the team. Even now, Nelson Semedo and Sergi Roberto are the ones considered for the position before the Spaniard.
#4 Denis Suarez
The former Sevilla man began his career at the Camp Nou after graduating from the fabled La Masia academy. While he was being groomed in the academy, many thought that he would be the next best thing to come out of the much-admired La Masia.
However, after realising that his potential might not be fulfilled if he stayed on the Barcelona bench, he was loaned to Sevilla and then shipped off to Villarreal. It was for the Yellow Submarines that he started to shine and show glimpses of the player people expected him to be.
And then a move back to Camp Nou happened. At first, it was a good start for Suarez, but then he slowly faded away and then completely lost his place in the playing XI. Right now, he is still on the fringes of the team and doesn’t look like he will make it as a starter any time soon.
#3 Arda Turan
Remember him? When he was pulling the strings at Atletico Madrid, he was widely regarded as one of the best attacking midfielders in the game. Such was grace and skills that the Camp Nou outfit paid around €40 million for the Turkish wizard.
Like Denis Suarez, his career at the Camp Nou began decently, but he eventually lost the edge that he displayed at the Vicente Calderon. Last season, he played in 30 games in all competitions and is yet to set foot on the pitch this season.
Right now, he is being pushed out of the club as the Catalans are looking to sell him. He is on quite high wages and that’s one of the reasons why the Camp Nou outfit deem it fit to let him go despite signing him for fee on the higher end.
#2 Andre Gomes
When Madrid and Barcelona were in tug-of-war for the Portuguese midfielder last summer, many Cules were happy that they got the better of their eternal rivals to get hold of the former Valencia player. At the Mestalla, he was one of the best midfielders in the league, so Barcelona acquiring him while also snatching him away from under the nose of their nemesis was special to them.
Fast forward a year and half and he is a man that perhaps no Barca fan wants—such has been the downfall of the Portuguese.
While he might have played a part in Messi scoring the winner at the Bernabeu last season, that was pretty much the only highlight of his season. So far this season, he has only started 3 games in the Champions League and La Liga combined and looks far from the player that pulled the strings for Valencia.
#1 Paco Alcacer
Paco, Paco, Paco, Paco… Alcacer is another one of those Valencia players that joined Barcelona and faded to obscurity, like Andre Gomes. It is a strange contrast to Barcelona’s acquisition of David Villa, someone who came from Valencia and stamped himself as one of the icons for the Blaugrana.
The thing is, Alcacer thrived as a centre-forward for Valencia and doesn’t have the luxury to play there at Barcelona. To be a successful forward with the Catalans, one has to have the ability to attack from the wings too.
It is not that Alcacer can’t play anywhere else, he has scored two goals from the right this season, but he isn’t the same player from there. So far this season, he has only started 5 games in La Liga and Champions League combined—a far cry from the player that he could have been.