There is no doubt that the current season was one of the worst seasons for FC Barcelona who lost the major competitions despite winning the Spanish Super Cup last summer against Atletico (1-1 in Vicente Calderon – 0-0 In Campnou).
Barcelona lost in the Quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions (1-0 On Aggregate), Lost the final of El Copa del Rey (2-1) and failed to score the winning goal against the Los Indios in a title deciding match on Saturday.
All this, forced the board members to announce the upcoming revolution, and there is no better than Luis Enrique to lead it. The ex Barcelona player who turned 44 two weeks ago officially became the new manager of FC Barcelona Football Team on May 19, 2014 finishing a successful season with Celta Vigo (9th) and 1st in the last 5 games in La Liga (4W-1L).
The young manager, who previously managed the Barcelona B team and AS Roma in addition to Celta Vigo was close from the managing post in Barcelona last season due to the illness of the deceased manager Tito Villanova but back then he was already committed to Vigo.
The Spaniard played 8 seasons for FC Barcelona after a controversial move from Barca’s eternal rival Real Madrid in 1996 marking more than 200 appearances for the Blaugrana and 63 for La Roja and retiring in the end of 2004.
Enrique coaching experience in a glimpse:
2008-2011 – FC Barcelona B. Gaining promotion from the first season from tercera A to Segunda B finishing 5th then second and promoted to segunda A else known as Liga Adelante finishing 3rd in his last season.
2011-2012 – AS Roma. Wasn’t promising from the beginning after losing the opening game and failing to advance in the Europa League. Luis Enrique decided to leave in the end of the seasons. Luis Enrique Resigns from La Republicca
2013-2014 – Celta Vigo. Finished 9th with 49 points. note played with many young players on the squad.
2014-2016* – FC Barcelona. On May 19 2014 Luis Enrique was appointed as manager for FC Barcelona and he is set to lead a revolution in the Catalan team.
What to expect and Possible Scenarios.
Minutes after the appointment of Luis Enrique, Barcelona announced the completion of Andre Ter Stegen transfer from Borussia Mönchengladbach, the young German Goalkeeper featured in 34 games this season in the German Bundesliga marking a record of 139 saves – conceding 43 goals. Stats via ESPNFC .
After signing the German Keeper, FCB is expected to make major signings this summer not to mention the readiness to sell any player.
Rumors been all over the internet few weeks ago talking about players who are on the verge of joining the Catalan giants, and others who almost left the Campnou. Beside signing Ter Stegen everything else is nothing more than Paper talk.
Here is a list of players who are leaving or might leave the team.
- Carles Puyol – Announced last week that he is leaving the team at the end of the season. link
- Victor Valdes – Injured earlier in the season, refused to renew his contract and is set to leave the team. link
- Isaac Cuenca – Might be leaving the team after recovering from his injury and declared fit to play in May 1. link
- Ibrahim Affellay – The Dutch midfielder returned from injury during the season but failed to impress the Argentinian manager who kept him on the bench or out of the squad, but he have a chance to prove himself under Luis Enrique surveillance.
- Martin Montoya – Renewed his contract earlier in March, he previously played with Luis Enrique.
- Javier Mascherano – The player seemed to be open for serious talks for a move back to EPL, especially is Barcelona signs 1 or 2 CBs in the summer.
- Daniel Alves – Still have 1 year in his contract, but the team seem to be interested in selling him.
- Alexander Song – Joined the team in 2012 signing a 5 years deal till 2017, failed to impress with Tata Martino, and seems unsettled for the lack of opportunity of being a starter with the presence of Busquets.
- Cesc Fabregas – Rumors talking about Manchester United continuous interest to sign him, not to mention the fact that Arsenal are set to join the race. My prediction, Cesc will stay in Barcelona.
- Alexis Sanchez – Second top scorer in this season behind Messi, the Chilean scored a thrilling goal in the Liga Finale and played a really good season. My Prediction, Enrique won’t sell him.
- Jonathan Dos Santos – The Mexican midfielder who suffered from several injuries never fitted in the squad which will make it almost impossible to find himself a place in Barca’s squad after the end of the upcoming mercato.
- Bojan Kirkic – The striker lived a long loan spell in different teams, from Roma to Ajax, and might be sold for any price this summer to provide the team with cash to fund the new signings.
- Cristian Tello – The young winger, failed to gain his spot in the Starting XI of Tata Martino who preferred Neymar and Pedro most of the times of Cesc as a false 9. My prediction, he will stay in Enrique decided to sell one of Pedro of Alexis.
List of players that might join FC Barcelona in the summer.
As i previously stated the latest news coming from the Campnou stats that Barcelona are preparing to spend some cash this summer in order to sign new players, in addition to promoting young talents from La Masia who plays for the team B as Luis Enrique always showed his faith in young players and Barcelona surely has one of the best academies in the world, and the numbers serves as a big example, FC Barcelona Juvenil A team won the UEFA Youth Cup where many players currently play in the Barcelona B team who is ranked 3rd in la Liga Adelante.
First the players to be promoted or back from loan.
- Rafinha Alcantara – The younger brother of Thiago Alcantara is set to join the team back from his loan at Celta Vigo where he improved under the supervision of Luis Enrique.
- Gerard Deulofeu – On loan in Everton, the winger is set to join the team back in few days.link
- Jordi Masip – The Goalkeeper might gain the long awaited promotion after the departure of Valdes and potential departure of Pinto.
- Javier Espinosa – Could help in the midfield if Song leaves.
- Jean Marie Doungou – Not the best striker in town but can improve with the first team, the young Cameroonian refused to join the National Team in their trip to the FIFA World cup this summer.
- Denis Suarez
- Sergi Gomez – Similar concept to Bartra’s.
- Patric – If Barcelona decided to sell Montoya and Alves and sign a RB.
- Carles Planas – Backup for Jordi Alba.
Many other talented players are available but still young and needs more experience, such as Adama Traore (18), Munir El Haddadi (18) and soon to join them Alen Halilovic.
Old Players to rejoin the team:
- Nolito – Ex Barcelona B player where he played with Luis Enrique, but the young Spanish failed to impress Pep Guardiola before moving to Benfica then Granada and then Celta Vigo scoring 14 goals this season being the team’s top scorer.
- Jonathan Soriano – Currently 28 playing for Red Bull Salzburg the Austrian Bundesliga Champions was once a FC Barcelona B striker under the surveillance of Luis Enrique, the Spaniard ended this season as top scorer of the league and his team scoring 31 goals in 28 matches. link – Ps. FC Barcelona might face Salzburg next year in the UEFA CL
These two players might be on Barca’s radar to solve the attacking persistent problem since the departure of Samuel Eto’o.
New Players to join the team:
- Mehdi Benatia – The international Moroccan attracted many teams recently after his amazing performance with Roma joining them from Udinese last summer, Aged 27 Benatia is on the Radar of the EPL champions Manchester City, but most likely to join FC Barcelona if they pay enough money to land him. link
- David Luiz – Barcelona’s interest in David Luiz is no longer the same. Reports coming from Barca mentioned that the team will stop following its interest in signing the Brazilian defender.
- Aymeric Laporte – One of the most promising Center Backs in La Liga this year, the young defender currently plays for Atheltic Bilbao and he might be a very good signing for Barcelona
- Iker Muniain – Recently was spotted in Barcelona “Rumor” however the young Spaniard can be a great signing for Barcelona’s midfield.
- Thiago Silva – The unsettled Brazilian with his team “PSG” was always on Barcelona’s radar.
- Jeremy Mathieu – Valencia’s Center Back could also join FCB. link
- David Silva.
- Sergio Aguero.
Finally, no one knows who’s going to join Barcelona in the upcoming weeks, or who might leave. But i have high expectations for the upcoming season after the disappointing season.