The €300m Barcelona investment that Koeman wants to master

Antoine Griezmann of Barcelona celebrates with teammates Frenkie de Jong, Ousmane Dembele, Oscar Mingueza, Lionel Messi and Pedri. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Antoine Griezmann of Barcelona celebrates with teammates Frenkie de Jong, Ousmane Dembele, Oscar Mingueza, Lionel Messi and Pedri. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images) /
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Frenkie de Jong, Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho, and Antoine Griezmann, are the 300 million euros that Barcelona invested after the departure of Neymar Jr. The Catalans brought in these big names hoping to remain at the top of Europe but the board did not realize that one cannot just buy players and expect the club to remain the same.

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Their mismanagement not only cost the club a fortune but also played a factor in the player’s poor performance. However, Ronald Koeman has decided to try his best and use these players to the best of their abilities and reinstate their confidence.

Dembele was the first of the lot who was brought in for a huge sum of money. The French winger was to be the direct replacement for the Brazilian but this was far from the case as injuries after injuries hampered his career and he did not even play regularly. Apart from that, he had trouble in the training grounds and he could not justify his price tag with his on-pitch performance.

However, since the arrival of the Dutch manager, the winger has started playing regularly again. He has already scored six goals and provided four assists in all competitions and he can improve that tally if he continues to be in Koeman’s starting eleven.

Frenkie on the other hand joined Barcelona off of a brilliant season with Ajax. The central-midfielder was fundamental in the Dutch club’s incredible UEFA Champions League run. The Catalans saw the player’s booming potential and brought him in for a fee of 75 million euros. He seemed like a player who would fit right into the club’s midfield but with a lack of guidance, he was unable to do so and was just an average player. Since the arrival of Koeman however, he has been given more liberty and has been encouraged to go forward more. He has adopted a more attacking mentality and he has the capability of putting the ball at the back of the net.

Finally, Griezmann had the biggest change after Koeman’s arrival. The World Cup winner was a world-class player in Atletico Madrid but ever since he arrived at Barcelona, he lost his touch in front of the goal and even admitted that he was not feeling confident. Koeman however, put full faith in the player, and even though he started out poor, he picked up his form as the season went on. His best form was seen in January when he scored six goals and gave six assists. He is starting to show exactly why the club bought him.

Koeman has really started to change the lives of these footballers who were considered as flops brought in by Josep Bartomeu. However, instead of experienced players such as Rakatic, Vidal, etc, the Dutch manager has chosen to give the youth and these players more of a chance and all of them have repaid his faith in them.

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Have Dembele, De Jong and Griezmann improved under Koeman?