Dembele, Coutinho, Griezmann, which of these Barca flops is the worst deal ever?

  /  autty

Barcelona are currently going through one of the toughest periods in their history both on and off the pitch.

On the pitch, they are a shell of their former selves who revolutionised the game under Pep Guardiola and then evolved into another devastating side under Luis Enrique.

Prodigal son Xavi has returned as head coach following the tumultuous tenure of Ronald Koeman and there is indeed more positivity around the club at the moment.

But, the former Barcelona captain has a herculean task on his hands to get the Blaugrana back to the elite level of challenging for the Champions League.

Indeed, just qualification for that competition would arguably go down as a success this season.

Off the pitch they are in an even worse state, with debts rising to well over €1.2 billion over the past year.


The main reason for this is due to Barca's scattergun approach to spending on wages and transfers over the past decade.

Their current financial situation is what ultimately led to the departure of Lionel Messi as the club could no longer afford his wages, while they were prohibited from registering him again after his contract expired.

Three transfers, in particular, will go down as three of the very worst in football history.

Perhaps, even, the three worst.

In an attempt to plug the gap left by superstar Neymar who left for Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona signed Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund, Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool and Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid.

Let's see how they've all performed so far.

Ousmane Dembele (€105m from Dortmund)

Dembele is the player out of the trio who has the best chance of things still working out at Barcelona.

Xavi and Joan Laporta have publicly thrown support behind the Frenchman and waxed lyrical about his talents.

Xavi said Dembele could become the best player in the world in his position, while Laporta said he was even better than PSG star Kylian Mbappe.

Unfortunately for Barcelona, they are running a massive risk of losing a player they paid €105m for leaving for free as Dembele's contract expires in the summer of 2022.

He is yet to put pen to paper on a new deal, with agent Moussa Sissoko allegedly campaigning for his client to leave.

Should Barca get nothing back for Dembele it would represent a catastrophic piece of business, especially now when they are absolutely desperate for funds.

On the pitch, we have witnessed some glimpses of what Dembele can do, but the fact is his career has been completely ravaged by injuries since the move from BVB.

Since his move, he has missed no less than 100 separate games for the club due to injury.

Philippe Coutinho (€122m from Liverpool)

After Dembele failed to immediately replace Neymar in his first six months at Barcelona, the Blaugrana threw money at the problem again by purchasing Philippe Coutinho for an outrageous initial fee of €122m plus bonuses.

The move has turned out to be a disaster for all parties as Coutinho has failed to make an impact on the team, regularly taking up the same positions as Lionel Messi which is a no-go.

He returned to the club after he failed to earn a permanent move to Bayern after a loan deal.

Messi is no longer there anymore which presented an opportunity for Coutinho to impress, but injuries and a lack of form have hampered any impact he could have made.

Crucially, the Brazilian has also allegedly been criticised by his team-mates for his workrate recently both in training, in warm-ups and in matches.

If Barca can get any, ANY money back for Coutinho they will agreed to a deal with any suitors.

He has recorded just two La Liga assists from the start of last season up until now.

Antoine Griezmann (€120m from Atletico)

Probably the most successful of the three has been Griezmann but his performances for the club have still been well below the standard you would expect from a player who cost so much.

Tactically this was a transfer that always seemed doomed to fail from the outset - and it proved to be so.

If you are a short, skilful, left-footed support striker, you have no chance of prospering in the same team as Messi. Just ask Paulo Dybala when it comes to the Argentina national team.

Griezmann and Messi often occupied the same spaces, while the Frenchman was at times shifted out of position in order to co-exist in the same team as the Argentine superstar.

In two years, he scored a very meagre 21 league goals and just four Champions League strikes. A very disappointing return given how much Barca spent for him.

He failed to win either La Liga or the Champions League.

Barcelona eventually agreed to offload him at a big loss back to Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2021, with him leaving on loan.

Related: Paris Saint-Germain Barcelona Atletico Madrid Messi Coutinho Griezmann Neymar Dembele
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