Philippe Coutinho heads list of 11 worst Barcelona transfers

As one of the biggest clubs in the world, Barcelona are used to being heavy hitters in the transfer market.

Over the years, the Catalan giants have completed some of the most impressive deals of the modern era.

Luis Suarez has delivered goals aplenty since his move from Liverpool in 2014, Ronaldinho became a legend after joining from Paris Saint-Germain in 2003. And Gerard Pique has been a regular fixture in defence since returning from Manchester United in 2008.

However, Barca’s transfer policy does not always produce hits. Philippe Coutinho, for example, has failed to emulate Suarez in making a successful transition from Liverpool.

After signing for £142m in January 2018, the Brazilian struggled to meet expectations. Now, his future is far from certain after spending this season on loan at Bayern Munich.

But the 28-year-old is far from the only player to have struggled after making the switch to the Camp Nou.

Here are 10 of the worst transfers Barca have conducted since 2005.

Alex Song

After an impressive 2011/12 season with Arsenal, Song joined Barca for £15m.

Despite his relatively modest fee, the Cameroon midfielder is still considered a flop, with only 29 La Liga starts in two seasons before returning to London with West Ham United in 2014.

Song earlier this year revealed in an Instagram Live chat that he did not ‘give a f**k’ about game-time at the Camp Nou given his handsome wages at the time.

He now plays for FC Sion in Switzerland.

Andre Gomes

After starring at Valencia, Gomes had the unenviable task of trying to prove himself as a worthy successor to Andres Iniesta in the Barcelona midfield.

The Portugal international was unable to make the grade, however, spending two seasons in and out of the team before joining Everton on loan in 2018.

After a decent first season on Merseyside, Gomes signed a five-year contract with the Toffees in 2019.

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Dmytro Chygrynskiy

The long-haired Ukranian will forever be remembered by Barca fans as one of the worst signings in their club’s history.

After helping Shakhtar Donetsk to the UEFA Cup in 2009, Chygrynskiy moved to Barca that summer for £22m.

Despite an encouraging debut against Getafe, the centre-back failed to break into Pep Guardiola’s Champions League holders, making just 12 league appearances before returning to Shakhtar in 2010.

Yerry Mina

Like Gomes, Mina is now playing his football at Everton after a disappointing spell with the La Liga giants.

However, the Colombian defender’s time in Catalonia was even shorter, lasting just six months before joining the Toffees in August 2018.

While Mina struggled to convince after arriving from Palmeiras, the club made a healthy profit by selling him to Everton for £27m having bought him for under £10m.

Thomas Vermaelen

A surprising £15m capture from Arsenal in 2014, the Belgian was plagued by injuries during his five-year spell with the club.

In fact, Vermaelen made only 53 appearances in four years with an unsuccessful loan spell at Roma sandwiched in the middle of his spell on Barca’s books.

The Belgian called time on his Barca career in July 2019 when he joined former Blaugrana stars Iniesta and David Villa at Vissel Kobe in the J-League.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

While the Swede scored 16 La Liga goals in just 29 appearances as Barca won the title in 2010, Ibrahimovic did not gel with Guardiola’s style of play.

After just one season at the Camp Nou, the striker returned to Italy to join AC Milan on loan before signing permanently a year later.

While his contributions were not as disappointing as some on this list, signing a target man forward for a coach like Guardiola was a dramatic misstep from Barcelona.

Jeremy Mathieu

The Frenchman was Barca’s choice to succeed Carles Puyol after the legendary centre-back hung up his boots in 2014.

Unfortunately, Mathieu did not come close to emulating Puyol’s effective partnership with Pique.

The injury-prone former Valencia man, signed for £18m, struggled through three terms at Barca before joining Sporting Lisbon in 2017.

Arda Turan

A star at Atletico Madrid during their title success in 2013/14, Turan joined Barcelona for around £30m in 2015.

However, after having to wait six months for his debut with the Catalans banned from registering new players due to irregularities in their recruitment of youth players, Turan’s Camp Nou career failed to achieve lift-off.

The Turkey international managed only 23 starts before joining Istanbul Basaksehir on loan, where he stayed for two years before returning in January.

Turan left Barcelona on July 1 after his contract expired with 55 appearances to his name in five years.

Paco Alcacer

While Lionel Messi can score goals for fun, finding the back of the net consistently for Barca is a tough gig.

This is evident in the case of Alcacer, who failed to emulate his impressive goal-scoring exploits for Valencia with the Blaugrana.

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The Spain international, who cost close to £30m, spent 18 months in and out of the team before reviving his career at Borussia Dortmund.

Alcacer returned to La Liga in January, joining Villarreal in a club-record deal.

Malcom

In the summer of 2018, Barcelona pipped Roma to the signing of promising young Brazilian Malcom.

The striker had caught the eye during his final year with Bordeaux but was unable to produce on a consistent basis under Ernesto Valverde, managing four goals in 24 games before being sold to Zenit Saint Petersburg.

Barcelona considered it a satisfying deal with the club receiving £36.5m for a player who failed to establish himself in La Liga.

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