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Summer Transfer Window: Analyzing The Players Who Have Left FC Barcelona

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In my last article, we went through the players FC Barcelona roped in, from Premier League’s best player Luis Suarez to the injury-prone Thomas Vermaelen.

While the Catalans have now recruited seven players this summer, 13 have departed The Nou Camp as well.

What follows is an analysis of these 13 players- were they needed to be let go off and how their departure will affect the club.

Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea)

Transfer Fee: €33 million (according to transfermarkt.com)

After three mediocre seasons at Barcelona, Fabregas returned to the Premier League by signing for Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea side.

Being openly criticized in the club’s official statement after his departure, it was evident that the Spaniard had become surplus to the requirements of Luis Enrique.

Via fcbarcelona.com:

"…despite glowing starts to each campaign, Cesc’s contributions to the cause gradually decreased as each season drew to a close. From being someone who joined in with the attack, supplying and scoring goals, the magic tended to fade later on in each season. He only scored one, six and one goals in the last 24 games of each season. For some reason, he was never as good in the second half of a season as in the first."

Fabregas is a fantastic talent and has made a fine start to his Chelsea career. Yet, he never really settled in at Barcelona.

As Mourinho quoted, the Spain international was continually used out of position. He was played as a false nine, winger and a No 10. This was primarily because his favoured position, in the centre of the midfield, was occupied by the likes of Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez. From the star man at Arsenal, Fabregas became a back-up player at Barcelona - a change the player couldn’t comprehend.

Enrique wants more directness and pace from his players so when Ivan Rakitic became available at Sevilla, Barcelona did good by finding a good price for Fabregas and letting him go. It was time for change.

Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)

Transfer Fee: Undisclosed fee in the region of €40 million (via Mirror.co.uk)

Sanchez arrived at Barcelona along with Fabregas in the summer of 2011 and faced a similar fate as his Spaniard counterpart.

Flourishing as a striker with Italian club Udinese, Sanchez was forced to play second fiddle to Messi and was shifted out on the flanks by then-manager Pep Guardiola.

"He is a striker and he's a good finisher," Arsene Wenger said after signing Sanchez.  "He made a great impression in Italy [with Udinese] - I saw him there and he was really outstanding. Then at Barcelona it was a bit more difficult, but it's like you could see with Neymar at Barcelona, because there you have Lionel Messi."

Sanchez could never really find his rhythm in Spain. His position on the right-wing and Barcelona’s style of play did not suit the 25-year-old. He likes dribbling and running behind defenders but Barcelona’s possession-based philosophy made the Chilean ineffective.

He had a strong last season, scoring 19 goals in the league, including a fantastic strike against eventual champions Atletico Madrid on the final day of the season. Yet, he was tired of his bit-part role and accepted an enticing offer form Arsenal.

Sanchez could have come good, but with Barcelona singing Luis Suarez, it’s hard to see where the Chile international would have fit in.

Victor Valdes (End of Contract)

Victor Valdes left Barcelona in the summer after his contract expired with the La Liga giants.

Seeking a fresh challenge, Valdes was heavily linked with a move to French club AS Monaco before the latter called off the transfer since the 32-year-old was carrying an injury. Despite Valdes’ agent assuring that his client will indeed move to Monaco after the failed medical, no official announcement has been made yet.

Valdes represented Barcelona for 12 seasons and despite, failing to win over the fans and pundits, owing to his occasional blunders, the 32-year-old was a fantastic servant to the club. He was a good shot-stopper and excellent in possession.

However, with Barcelona replacing him with the prodigious Marc-Andre ter Stegen, it is unlikely the club will actually long for the services of Valdes.

Carles Puyol (Retirement) and Jose Manuel Pinto (End of Contract)

With fitness problems plaguing the twilight of his career, Carles Puyol decided to call a day on his professional career despite having two years remaining on his contract.

The 36-year-old said: "After my last two major operations, I find it is taking me a lot of effort to reach the level required here, even more than myself and the surgeons thought necessary. That's the reason I have reached this decision".

Puyol was Barcelona’s leader  and arguably their best defender for years before age and injuries caught up with him. His presence on the pitch was sorely missed last season when he made just 12 appearances.

Who will be Puyol's replacement is something that is still needed to be seen. Barcelona have bought Vermaelen and Jeremy Mathieu but the two are short-term solutions. Gerard Pique has been under-performing for the last 18 months and Marc Bartra just isn’t ready yet. It will also be interesting to see, out of the four captains (Xavi, Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and Messi), who will be able to replicate the leadership traits Puyol brought to the side.

On the other hand, Jose Manuel Pinto, whose contract expired over the summer is unlikely to be missed on the football pitch as his time was evidently up at the club.

Denis Suarez and Gerard Deulofeu (Both going on loan to Sevilla)

Two upcoming stars for the club, Denis Suarez and Gerard Deulofeu still need some experience and first-team opportunities before they can compete for a spot at The Nou Camp. Sending them on loan to another La Liga club is an excellent decision and will help the two enhance their skills.

Ibrahim Afellay (Going on loan to Olympiakos)

Not in Enrique’s plans for the upcoming season, Ibrahim Afellay joined Olympiakos for a season-long loan after which his contract with Barcelona will expire. The club could not find a suitable buyer for the Netherlands international and sending him out on loan was the final available option.

Isaac Cuenca (Contract Terminated)

Given his debut by Guardiola, Isaac Cuenca promised a lot, but injuries and a stuttering loan stint at Ajax hindered his progress. At 23, Cuenca had reached an awkward age. His fitness troubles meant he won't be able to get into the first team and he had become too old to be touted as a "promising youngster". Terminating his contract was the best move for all parties.

Keirrison (End of Contract)

Signing for Barcelona in 2009, Keirrison spent the next five years on loan at different clubs. It’s still a mystery why exactly he was signed, considering he did not make a single appearance for Barcelona before contract finished in the summer.

Jonathan Dos Santos (Villareal) and Bojan Krkic (Stoke City)

Transfer Fee: €2 million and €4 million respectively

Like Cuenca, Jonathan Dos Santos promised a lot but failed to break into Barcelona’s first team. At 24, it was high time the Mexican got more playing time and a transfer to fellow Spanish club Villareal appears as a good option.

Bojan Krkic is well, yet another La Masia kid failing to follow up his early promise at Barcelona. Pressure of playing at the biggest stage and a gradual loss in from started to diminish the club’s faith in the youngster. He was loaned to Milan and Ajax but to no avail. So it’s Stoke City where Bojan will try to rejuvenate his career now.

Cristian Tello (Going on loan to Porto)

Transfer Fee: €2 million loan fee with an additional option to buy the player for €8 million

Tello has bags of potential but a two-year loan move to Porto suggests Enrique does not rate the player highly enough. Suarez’s arrival obviously meant a reduced playing time for Tello, but the manager’s preference of Rafinha and Munir El Haddadi and over Tello means the former Liverpool target may have played his last game for Barcelona.

Alex Song (Going on loan to West Ham United)

Despite doing admirably well for Arsenal in the Premier League, Song could never continually compete for a first-team spot at Barcelona. He is a creative midfielder but frankly, not the "Barcelona material". A season-long loan to West Ham will allow the 26-year-old to rejuvenate his career in a league that will suit his skills.

Oier Olazábal (Granada)

Transfer Fee: Free transfer

Jordi Masip’s promotion and the arrival of Bravo and ter Stegen meant Oier Olazábal had no place at Barcelona. Not a bit surprised to see him leave.

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