10 Worst Barcelona Signings
Barcelona have dominated Spanish football in recent years, winning eight of the last 11 La Liga titles and four of the last five Copa del Rey crowns. 10 Worst Barcelona Signings
Yet despite all the on-pitch success, there have been a lot of misses in the transfer market from the Catalan giants since the turn of the century.
The club’s success has been built on the graduates of their La Masia youth academy, with the likes of Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Carles Puyol and Sergio Busquets having been instrumental in multiple title wins.
But there have been a number of major errors where signings have been concerned, far worse than the club record fee dropped on Philippe Coutinho even (after all, at least he scored some fine goals and had some decent moments).
We take a look at some of the clangers that the Blaugrana have dropped in the transfer market over the past decade.
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1.Alex Song-10 Worst Barcelona Signings
Song joined Barcelona from Arsenal in the summer of 2012 for a transfer fee reported to be £15million.
The Cameroon international had clocked up 215 appearances across six years at the Emirates and had become an increasingly prominent player for Arsene Wenger’s team in a deep-lying midfield role before penning a five-year deal at Camp Nou.
He made 65 appearances for Barcelona before joining West Ham in 2014, after which he had spells at Rubin Kazan and Sion.
Even though he played a part in the 2012/13 league title, Song never looked comfortable at Barcelona.
2.Douglas-10 Worst Barcelona Signings
Douglas started just one league game
The Brazilian full-back joined Barca from Sao Paulo in a deal worth up to £4.4million in 2014 but started only one La Liga match for the club.
That was against Malaga and he was widely ridiculed for the performance, from which he never fully recovered.
Douglas had loan spells at Sporting Gijon, Benfica and Sivasspor before joining Turkish club Besiktas in 2019.
3.Jeremy Mathieu-10 Worst Barcelona Signings
The Frenchman arrived in a £16million move from Valencia in 2014 after Carles Puyol confirmed his retirement.
Signed as a left-footed defensive partner for the more elegant and ball-playing Gerard Pique, Mathieu’s three years at the Camp Nou were hugely frustrating and he joined Sporting CP on a free transfer in 2017.
Mathieu later claimed he was always made a scapegoat when things went wrong at the club and complained that Catalan newspaper Diario Sport “always had something bad to say about me.”
4.Arda Turan-10 Worst Barcelona Signings
The Turkish midfielder starred for Atletico Madrid across four seasons, playing a key role in their 2014 La Liga title and run to the Champions League final.
He joined Barcelona for a reported initial fee of £24million but he never replicated his Atletico success at Camp Nou.
Starting just 23 La Liga games over two seasons, he was loaned to Istanbul Basaksehir and ran in to plenty of controversy, receiving a 16-match ban for pushing an assistant referee (later reduced to 10 games upon appeal).
In September he was jailed for two years and eight months due to his involvement in an altercation at an Istanbul nightclub which left popstar Berkay Sahin with a broken nose, with the player later allegedly brandishing a gun.
However, Marca has reported that he will not be put behind bars unless he commits another crime within the next five years.
5.Aleix Vidal-10 Worst Barcelona Signings
Another signing in the summer of 2015, Vidal – like Arda – could not feature for the first six months of his stint due to Barcelona’s player registration ban.
In truth, his Blaugrana career never truly kicked off. Signed from Sevilla for an initial £13.8million, he only ever made 15 starts for the club in La Liga.
Primarily a back-up for Dani Alves at right-back, Vidal – a winger in the early stages of his career – was defensively vulnerable and never replicated his form at Sevilla, whom he rejoined in 2018.
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6.Andre Gomes-10 Worst Barcelona Signings
The Portugal international joined Barca from Valencia in the summer of 2016 for a fee that could have eventually reached £45.8million.
The midfielder struggled in the Catalan capital, netting just three goals in two seasons before joining Everton.
He even spoke about struggles with his mental health at the club due to the pressures upon him and his below-par performances.
7.Paco Alcacer-10 Worst Barcelona Signings
Alcacer was another big-money arrival from Valencia whose career at Barcelona never took off.He joined in 2016 for £27million – an excessive fee for a back-up who was never going to break the attacking trident of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
He had to wait until December for his first goal and added just a further 14 during his time at the club.
Alcacer re-found form following a switch to Borussia Dortmund and is now back in Spanish football with Villarreal.
8.Malcom-10 Worst Barcelona Signings
Malcom joined Barca for £36.5m in the summer of 2018 from Bordeaux, after Roma had announced a deal for the forward.
However, the Brazilian made just six starts in La Liga and manager Ernesto Valverde was reportedly unhappy that the player was signed without his approval.
Undoubtedly a talented player, Malcom joined Zenit Saint Petersburg after one season in Catalonia.
9.Kevin Prince-Boateng-10 Worst Barcelona Signings
The only non-permanent signing on the list, Boateng arrived at Barcelona on a loan deal from Sassulo in January 2019 until the end of that campaign.
While the club confirmed they had an option to sign him permanently, this was unsurprisingly not taken.
Boateng played four games for the club without scoring and now plays for Besiktas, on loan from Fiorentina.
10.Neto-10 Worst Barcelona Signings
Neto swapped a starting role for a back-up position by joining Barca (Image: David Ramos)
A slightly harsh inclusion as Neto has only played four games for Barcelona and is No.2 to Marc-Andre ter Stegen, but swapping a first-team role at Valencia for a substitute spot elsewhere was questionable.
The Brazilian shot-stopper moved to Camp Nou last summer in a deal worth an initial £23million, with Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen moving the other way.
Diario Sport claimed last month that Neto already wants to return to the Mestalla.