Hit or miss? Six stars Barcelona let leave
Not many players leave Barcelona to go on to better things and, as recent buy-back clauses in La Masia youngsters Gerard Deulofeu and Adama Traore’s contracts show, the Catalans are keen on insurance policies.
However, Barca have allowed some high-profile players to depart in recent seasons, with Pedro just the latest. Have, or will, the Nou Camp club come to rue any exits? Coral experts consider…
Yet, the composed midfield schemer’s time at the Allianz Arena has been riddled by injuries and, though his talent is evident, he is still to prove a consistent fixture.
Having hit 129 in 198 for the Catalans, the club, and apparently unconvinced coach Pep Guardiola, rather ruthlessly traded the Cameroonian in a part-exchange deal with Inter Milan for Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Although Barca have lifted another treble since Eto’o left, it was he who proved his point first, winning a trio of trophies with Inter and beating his former club along the way in 2010.
Once back in the Nou Camp fold, however, Fabregas found his face no longer fit, and failed to show his true talents consistently in a less direct set-up.
He may now be a Premier League winner with Chelsea, but Barcelona found a superior style with Ivan Rakitic in their ranks, so were right to let the Spaniard fly the nest again.
The superstar Swede could not conform, and would not play second fiddle to Lionel Messi, so Guardiola somewhat wasted a season of the striker’s career.
Of course, Barca won everything under Guardiola, but had he found a way to slot Ibrahimovic into the puzzle, the powerful poacher’s directness and explosive play could have seen them prove far less predictable.
A little too early to call on this one, but signs point to a loss for transfer-banned Barcelona (3/1 with Coral to win the Champions League) here.
The Spanish giants lost homegrown hero Pedro due to lack of game time, and could see him really shine with Chelsea now the shackles are off and the Spaniard is released from his bit-part role.
Luis Enrique may struggle to replace the super-sub, at least in the short-term.
The long-serving custodian was crucial in Barca’s build-up play, but is not considered among the echelons of truly great keepers.
After recovering from a long injury lay-off, Valdes is now frozen out at Manchester United, following a fall-out with former Nou Camp coach Louis van Gaal.
The Catalans, odds-on at 4/7 to retain La Liga, meanwhile, have two excellent custodians in Claudio Bravo and long-term successor Marc-Andre ter Stegen seamlessly sharing duties.