By 90Min
September 04, 2019

Barcelona strengthened this summer as they look to win both the La Liga title and the Champions League this term.

Last season saw Barcelona lift the La Liga title ahead of bitter rivals Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, however, the major failure came in Europe, as Barca were knocked out by Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals.

This, alongside competitors Real Madrid forking out a huge amount for some of Europe’s best players such as Eden Hazard, resulted in Barca making some top signings of their own, as they eye a league and European Cup double this year.

With the European transfer window now closed, now is the ideal time to rate the new signings that the Catalan giants have made this summer.


Goalkeeper

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Neto - Brazilian keeper Neto joined from fellow Spanish side Valencia in June for a fee of €26m plus a potential further €9min add-ons, and is set to provide competition for Marc-Andre ter Stegen following Jasper Cillessen’s move in the opposite direction to Valencia.

The 30-year-old kept a respectable ten clean sheets in 34 appearances for Valencia in La Liga last season, along with a further four in Europe. Whilst Neto is unlikely to start over first choice Ter Stegen, he brings a high level of experience, having played 239 games in his career at La Liga and Serie A level. If Ter Stegen was to get injured, he will provide excellent cover. 6/10


Defender

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Junior Firpo- Versatile defender Firpo is another good addition to the squad, with the 23-year-old, who is predominantly a left-back also able to cover at both centre halve and on the wing.

Firpo caught the attention of Valverde due to his impressive form last term for La Liga side Real Betis, with the Spaniard - who cost Barca an initial €18m - featuring 29 times in all competitions last season. He scored three times and created a further four goals in La Liga as well as being part of a defence which kept 11 clean sheets.

Whilst Jordi Alba is likely to be the first choice at left back, Firpo will provide further strength in depth and has already started once in the league for Barca this month. 7/10


Midfielder

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Frankie de Jong- Now then, from two players who are more likely to be squad players, the next man on the list looks set to be a starter for the next decade. New €75m signing and former Ajax ace Frankie de Jong is a brilliant signing for the Catalan side.

Although the 22-year-old has only seven international caps and six senior goals to his name, there is something special about him. The Dutch international dictates the play from the base of the midfield and was a crucial player behind Ajax’s success in the Champions League last year.

In recent times, since Xavi and Andres Iniesta have left the club, Barcelona have missed a midfielder who could put his foot on the ball and keep possession. De Jong’s speed of mind, his ability to float around the midfield and composure on the ball are all qualities Barca have been lacking that De Jong will add, making him a vital acquisition. 8/10


Attacker

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Antoine Griezmann - With Luis Suarez ageing, Coutinho failing to deliver (and subsequently now left for Bayern), Antoine Griezmann was desperately needed to support Messi in attack.

The French international and World Cup winner has a pedigree of scoring goals, netting 136 times in 324 La Liga appearances, as well as 21 times in the Champions League. At €120m, Griezmann is the club’s marquee signing of the summer and is a statement of intent from a side itching to win their first Champions League in four years.

Griezmann possesses electrifying movement and he is a deadly finisher, both with his feet and his head and is already proving his worth this term by striking twice against Real Betis in his home debut last month. 9/10


Overall

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Barcelona have made two eye catching signings in Frankie de Jong and Antoine Griezmann which will have pleased the Barca fans immensely. These two individuals will provide the quality and composure that could be enough for Barca to win both La Liga and the European Cup this term.

Alongside this, Junior Firpo and Neto add depth to the squad and good competition for places in the team which makes them astute signings.

However, the failure to capture both wantaway Paris Saint Germain and former Barca attacker Neymar, along with 19-year-old centre-back Matthijs de Ligt - who snubbed Barca for Juventus -means it has not been a perfect window for Valverde; far from it.

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The failure to sign a centre back may be costly, with Liverpool showing the world last season that the current back line is a weakness of this side. It may therefore be a struggle for Barca to win the Champions League this term with the current options at the back.

Only time will tell though. There is no denying though that the four players the club have signed are all of good quality and will make Barca stronger again this season.

Overall Rating - 7/10

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