FC Barcelona: A Decade In Transfers Report; 2010-2019

Barcelona's Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho (C) greets Barcelona's French forward Ousmane Dembele (L). (Photo credit LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)
Barcelona's Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho (C) greets Barcelona's French forward Ousmane Dembele (L). (Photo credit LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images) /

Barcelona Transfers 2010 – 2019;

At the beginning of the decade, Barcelona was actually one of the smartest spenders in the market. Things started to spiral as the golden era squad aged out and they desperately tried to maintain a contender around Messi. In the above graph, you can see star signings and transfers misses.

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I personally consider a successful transfer to mean a player who made more than 100 appearances for the club. With that in mind;

43 Signings

17 with over 100 appearances

Hit Rate = 39.54%

Note* I included De jong, Griezmann, and Coutinho who are not that far off.

The best signing of the decade in my opinion has to be Luis Suarez who scored 198 goals across 283 Barcelona games. Suarez was one of the leading contributors on the 14/15 Barca side which was really the last truly dominant Barcelona team.

Suarez is the best-case scenario for a big-money signing, he was purchased as a world-class player, somehow took himself to another level, and played with undeniable passion. I wish more of Barcelona’s big money swings ended up like this but sadly that is not the case as the many misses above show.

For the worst signing, it’s really up to one’s personal preferences. Philippe Coutinho has never really settled at Barca and appears to be on his way out,  Andre Gomes failed to fit in immediately, Arda Turan collected wages at Barca for 5 straight years and only ever made 55 appearances, the Gerard Deulofeu experiment, the Malcom disaster, and the recently concluded Pjanic deal is still a head-scratcher.

You can’t really dance around it missing on 60% of your transfers over 10 years really made Barcelona reconsider what kind of club they are and I’m pretty sure inspired the current rebrand going on. They have failed to be successful buyers in the market and have returned to a focus of developing their own stars. A La Masia renaissance is in full swing while smart savvy transfers for youngsters such as Pedri and Sergio Dest indicate the club has properly reevaluated their recruitment policy and are only buying players who fit the new brand identity.

Barcelona’s Financial Pitfalls

That trio of transfers to the right of the chart (Dembele, Griezmann, and Coutinho) who catch the most blame for Barcelona’s current financial woes get too much criticism from Barca fans, it’s the huge blob in the middle filled with no long term contributors (e.g. Malcom) that are responsible for the current mess. Those are stars who contribute to Barca in other financial ways. The problem is all the no-name signings in that cluster that(plus wages) is what sunk Barca financially this decade.

Next. Barcelona set to offer Ousmane Dembele a contract extension. dark

To sum up Barcelona’s decade in transfers. The club went through a sudden and unexpected dry spell in the early 2010s and they suddenly had to buy quality depth instead of producing it, that dry spell seems to be over as the academy has bounced back greatly the last two years. The Catalan giants can begin to reduce their market spend and focus resources on improving in-house talent.