In the transfer market, though, there have been failures to bring in reinforcements and offload unwanted stars, with this latter development leading AS to detail seven unwanted and “marked” men under the Dutchman in 2020/2021, whose cases can be looked at individually here.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 25, 2020
The only member of the group to have played minutes in La Liga thus far, the Frenchman was brought on for 20 at the end of the 4-0 opening day win over Villarreal yet never since.
Reports have emerged of growing discontent at the Camp Nou with the 23-year-old, for not joining Manchester United and facilitating a move for Lyon’s Memphis Depay.
But he seems intent on winning his manager round by reporting for training despite it being his day off yesterday.
Part of the quartet told by Koeman they were surplus to requirements when he replaced Quique Setien, Umtiti has no fitness return date in sight but has managed to stick around where Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal were all given the heave ho.
Renewing terms until 2023, after winning the World Cup with France alongside Dembele, the central defender will be difficult to shift but Koeman prefers near-namesake Ronald Araujo as his third man while also trying to bring in Eric Garcia.
— Martin Braithwaite (@MartinBraith) September 29, 2020
Suarez shipped off to Atletico Madrid and the Depay deal falling through, Barca were left with the number 9 spot vacant.
Braithwaite has taken the hallowed jersey because of this, but his boss seems reluctant to give him a run out despite Lionel Messi hitting a brick wall in the role against Sevilla last Sunday
The Blaugrana did at least secure Sergino Dest from Ajax prior to Monday’s closing of the window.
But such is the lack of trust in former Betis left back Junior that natural right back Dest will be used to stand in for the injured Jordi Alba if he doesn’t recover in time for club soccer resuming next weekend.
As call him Barca’s “ghost signing”: the mysterious Brazilian bought at the start of 2020 before being shipped out on loan to Valladolid. Since completing that assignment, Fernandes is yet to make a matchday squad and Barca haven’t attempted to sell or loan him out either. A curious case.
Word had gone round that Koeman was warming to the La Masia product in preseason training and such claims were supported by Alena starting friendlies against Catalan minnows last month.
There is an “overbooking” in midfield to say the least, however, and the 22-year-old is still to unused when double pivots Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets have tired in a match.
— Riqui Puig (@RiquiPuig) October 8, 2020
Puig, who is also an academy fruit, faces a similar predicament as Alena.
Last night, though, he used an opportunity post-match after representing Spain’s U21 team to clear up his relationship with Koeman.
“At this big club, there are things that are not properly understood by the media, or there are sites that don’t fully tell the truth. Koeman told me that he trusts me, and I’ll have minutes,” it was stressed.
Now based in Barcelona after six years in São Paulo, I have written on these topics at length through previews and analysis while having also covered match reports for.