The 2021–22 season was basically forgettable for Barcelona. They failed to win any trophies and placed second in La Liga, 13 points behind Real Madrid, the league’s champion. Halfway through the season, they fired Ronald Koeman and brought in Xavi Hernandez, another ex-player.
Barcelona is dealing with a financial crisis, but some amazing deals have nevertheless been made this summer. They have significantly strengthened their team and have unquestionably sent a message this summer.
The Catalans are eager to mount a challenge on all fronts next season, and their activity in the ongoing transfer window is a reflection of their goals. Real Madrid, their bitter rivals, threatened to widen the distance between the two teams by winning both the Champions League and La Liga titles this past season.
- Barcelona have a formidable backline now
Ronald Araujo is certain to become a fixture in Barcelona’s backline for years to come. He was their most dependable centre-back in the 2021-22 season. With Gerard Pique entering the twilight of his career, it was necessary for Barcelona to find a good long-term partner for Araujo.
They’ve signed Andreas Christensen from Chelsea on a free transfer. Eric Garcia could continue to improve and be a worthy deputy to the duo. Sergino Dest is likely to be their first-choice right-back while Jordi Alba will continue to start down the left wing.
It remains to be seen whether or not Barcelona will be able to keep Frenkie de Jong beyond this summer. Practically, it looks impossible due to their financial problems. As such, we’ll just leave him out of the discussion for now.
Despite that, Barcelona have a very well-balanced midfield heading into the 2022-23 season. Pedri and Gavi have shown us that despite being teenagers, they are two of the most promising and talented central midfielders in the world.
Sergio Busquets is not at the peak of his powers anymore but is still one of the best deep-lying playmakers in La Liga. His experience and technical ability will lend a great deal of balance to this fledgling Barcelona midfield.
- They have a proven goalscorer in Robert Lewandowski
Barcelona struggled to find goals in the first half of the 2021-22 season in the absence of an out-and-out striker. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s arrival in January solved that problem to an extent. But Barcelona have now received a major upgrade after signing Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich.
- Incredible attacking depth
It’s impossible to look at Barcelona’s attacking department and not be awestruck right now. They’ve added Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski to an attack that already has Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ferran Torres, Ansu Fati, Memphis Depay and Ousmane Dembele.
Dembele was the top assist provider (13) in La Liga last term despite making just 21 appearances. Torres and Aubameyang showed plenty of promise in the second half of the 2021-22 season. Fati and Depay can be menacing when they’re on song. No other team in Europe has as many top quality attackers in their squad as Barcelona do right now.
- Xavi Hernandez’s project has already shown plenty of promise
Between February and March earlier this year, Barcelona beat Atletico Madrid 4-2, Valencia 4-1, Napoli 4-2, Athletic Club 4-0 and Real Madrid 4-0. They looked like a well-drilled, cohesive unit during this phase and it showed that Xavi is a man with a plan.
With a proper pre-season and a much stronger squad at his disposal, it will be very interesting to see what Xavi will be able to accomplish in the upcoming campaign. They certainly look capable of giving Real Madrid a run for their money.