Barcelona's Worst Signings in Recent Times

Updated: Apr 11, 2020

Being one of the biggest club in the world has its disadvantages. Every move of your's is under scrutiny and for Barcelona, it is the same. Despite having the phenomenon that is Lionel Messi, the club have failed to win the Champions League in the last five years. During this time, they have moved away from the model of promoting youth and are regularly investing in the transfer market, making a few high profile moves.

However, such moves have not worked out as they club would have wanted them to. Here, we take a look at four signings that Barcelona made that have not succeeded as they would have expected.

1) Ousmane Dembele

The mercurial Frenchman might yet come up good but so far, a host of injuries have put rest to whatever progress he has been trying to make. Since joining in the summer of 2017 as a replacement for Neymar, Dembele has made just 74 appearances. While his number of goal involvements of 36 is decent, it is also an indicator that the former Borussia Dortmund star's fitness has been unreliable. 

This season, he has played just nine matches and on top of that, his long term injury led to the ill-fated €19 million emergency signing Martin Braithwaite.

Dembele has been unfortunate with injuries but from Barcelona's perspective, they are yet to find reasons to justify the €100 million they shelled out for the 22-year-old. There is already talk of the Catalans letting the player leave the club in the summer. Despite his injury troubles, age is on Dembele's side and he will have no shortage of suitors.

2) Philippe Coutinho

Yet another big money signing that has not worked out the way Barcelona wanted. Coutinho was one of the best players in the Premier League when the La Liga side tempted him to Spain in January of 2018. The Brazilian was expected to provide zest and zip to a Barcelona attack that were increasingly reliant on the geniuses of Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi.

However, the plain and simple fact is that Coutinho has found it tough to recreate the form he showed with Liverpool. He featured regularly for the club under Ernesto Valverde but his 18-months were frequented by losses of form and losing the faith of his own supporters.

Coutinho is currently on loan with Bayern Munich where he has had a good season. However, it remains to be seen if the German champions will want to sign him permanently. A return to Barcelona looks unlikely while a move back to England has also been touted for Barcelona's record transfer.

3) Malcom

Quite what prompted Barcelona to hijack Roma's move for Malcom back in 2018 is still unknown to most. The winger was on his way to Rome when Barcelona made a bid in the 11th hour and sealed a deal that left a bad taste in the mouth of everyone associated with Roma. An excellent 2017-18 campaign in France led to Malcom being highly coveted and Barcelona believed they were getting a talent for the future. However, things did not go as planned. 

Granted, Malcom scored a vital goal against rivals Real Madrid but that would prove to be one of his very few highlights. The youngster played just 24 games, most of it from the bench before being deemed surplus to requirements.

However, his talent has never been in question and Barcelona were able to recoup the amount they paid when they packed him off to Zenit St. Petersburg last summer.

4) Andre Gomes

In hindsight, this has proven to be a bad deal for both club and player though at the time of the deal, Barcelona had captured one of the best young midfielders in La Liga, if not Europe. Fresh of winning the UEFA Euro 2016 with Portugal, Gomes made the step up from Valencia to Barcelona, a path trodden in recent years by the likes of Jordi Alba and David Villa.

Much was expected of the midfielder but he never looked like he was going to command a regular spot in the lineup. Gomes underwhelmed for most of his tenure in Catalonia and the experience turned sour to such an extent that he began to suffer personally. 

The Portuguese was allowed to leave in 2018 and a loan spell at Everton was just what he needed as he revitalized his career. Gomes has been playing the best football of his career with the Toffees, having made the move permanent last year.

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