We all know how the second half of last season went. No, I’m not referring to winning a lot of games and hoisting multiple silver pots. But, in particular, to the February Jinx with injuries that extended well into March, April and a part of May before it all came together miraculously towards the end. You might even remember contemplating flying over to Barcelona and volunteering as a center back just to help out. “If Pique had been injured, our season would’ve been over” sighed Tito Vilanova at the end of it all. A close shave indeed!
So thankfully the summer transfer season is here, where we usually address these issues of acute player shortage and try to decrease the probability of fans expiring in huge numbers from myocardial infarction halfway through the season. Now we wouldn’t want to dent those Facebook fan counts, would we? Yes we know Pep likes thin squads, but I bet even he doesn’t like to have to struggle to fill the bench. Thanks to Rosell’s master stroke of switching away from color cartridges, even budget isn’t apparently a problem! An increase in squad depth has been a recurring theme as we headed into the transfer season, so much so that fans have been willing to contribute a dollar a head to the FCB “Buy a CB for heaven’s sake!” Fund. All good so far.
So how’re we doing so far on squad depth? Well, we’ve signed one player, and sent away three. Now I’m not a Math wizard, but even I can tell you that seems a very odd way to set about increasing depth. This demands a closer look.
Bojan: It’s impossible to dislike Bojan. Unless you are the kind who hates small kids and kicks at puppies or kittens in your way. He leaves to Roma in a complicated sale where we don’t really get any money except maybe in the distant future when we’re required to buy him back anyway. A lot of ink has been wasted trying to understand the motivation behind the deal, we just think the intern at the contract department had a couple of shots and got creative.
Jeffren: Jeffren, aka The Eternal Optimist, has been sold to Sporting Lisbon in a more straight forward contract, 3.75M with a buy back clause and strict instructions not to style or cut the hair of any player or staff involved with the first team.
Milito: Everyone loves Gabi Milito. At least we do. Profusely. Gabi claims he is a centerback, but take it with a cup of salt. That’s roughly where he stands on the pitch, but as to whether he really does any center-backish thing is certainly up for question. So Gabi woke up one morning, had a cup of mate, and decided he didn’t fancy a flight all the way back to Barca and he’d rather sign for Indipendiente instead on a free transfer. So that’s that. The only downside is that Leo Messi has taken to hanging out with Alves instead, and if “four chinchoneros” weren’t bad enough, now we’ll likely have five.
Ibi Afellay: When the rumors started about a possible Ibi move to Juventus, we were convinced Barca’s somehow mucked up their internal memo from “Forward shortage, buy!” to “Sell! Sell! Sell!”. Thankfully, as an inside source revealed to us on twitter, Ibi has just about come to terms with Spanish and doesn’t fancy starting all over again with Italian, so we’re safe for another year.
Sanchez: The Sanchez saga started off with all the trappings of another Cesc-like never ending affair…