Barcelona have signed a total of 14 players since their treble-winning 2014/15 season, but many of the new arrivals are struggling for playing time in the most important matches.
Since that Champions League triumph in Berlin, Jasper Cillessen, Lucas Digne, Samuel Umtiti, Aleix Vidal, Nelson Semedo, Yerry Mina, Arda Turan, Denis Suarez, Andre Gomes, Paulinho, Philippe Coutinho, Paco Alcacer, Gerard Deulofeu and Ousmane Dembele have all signed, costing the club over 500 million euros.
However, only Umtiti has become a guaranteed starter for big Champions League nights, like this midweek’s trip to Chelsea.
The only other two who have started these kinds of matches recently have been Andre Gomes and Paulinho, who played in the away legs against PSG and Chelsea respectively over the past two years, but whose performances left a lot to be desired.
In Paulinho’s case, he hit the ground running when he arrived from China to the tune of 40m euros, but his performances have dipped over the past few weeks and he really struggled at Stamford Bridge.
The Brazilian, though, at least took to the field in London, as Ousmane Dembele didn’t even play a single minute.
He is now back from his two lengthy injury spells, but he isn’t being picked by Ernesto Valverde, who stated after the Chelsea game that he doesn’t want to risk experimenting in such important matches.
Elsewhere, another signing from last summer who has struggled is Semedo, who has lost his place to Sergi Roberto, who isn’t even naturally a right-back.
It’s great news for Barcelona that youth graduates like Roberto are doing well, but it’s not ideal that the new arrivals have yet to make an impact.