The Hard Tackle analyses the overall performance of Barcelona in the January transfer window and gives its verdict on their performance.

Barcelona did not really have much success in the January transfer window. The majority of it was because of the financial crisis that they are in. Their movement in the transfer market was limited. Barcelona did try to sign a few players but could not get the job done. Xavi might not be that pleased with Barcelona’s work in the window, as he is pushing for the La Liga title.

Meanwhile, it was an exciting window that went write down to the wire. The winter transfer window is now done and dusted. It was a roller coaster ride that saw some big moves over its course. It ended with a flurry of big transfers, with the biggest move being the transfer of Enzo Fernandez from Benfica to Chelsea on deadline day.

However, the biggest surprise move of the window was the transfer of Joao Cancelo from Manchester City to Bayern Munich on loan. Overall, Chelsea were the biggest spender in the January transfer window. The Blues went all out last month as they signed quite a few young prospects.

The Blaugrana are currently top of the tree in the Spanish top flight and would have loved to acquire a few new signings. They still have a good enough squad, but it will interesting to see what impact not signing players in the January window will have on them.

It was not that eventful a window for Barcelona, but they were involved in a few moves over the course of the month. The Hard Tackle dives deep into the Catalan club’s business in the winter window and delivers its verdicts on their performance.

INS: None

OUTS: Memphis Depay, Hector Bellerin (free transfer), and Gerrard Pique (retired)

Players Linked: Julian Araujo, Sofyan Amrabat, Bernardo Silva

Shrewd Work (A Departure That Is Ideal For All Parties): Memphis Depay

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Memphis Depay arrived at Camp Nou with a lot of hype around him. The Dutch forward was in sensational form for Lyon before arriving in Spain. After a disappointing time at Manchester United, he revived himself at Lyon. But, his move to Barcelona did not go according to plan.

While he was at Lyon, the Dutch forward played 178 matches in which he scored 76 goals and created 55. He was the leader of the attack, and his performances attracted a lot of attention.

On the back of his heroics, Barcelona decided to bring Depay to the club to reignite their attack. But, his move to Camp Nou did not have the desired impact. In addition, injuries played spoilsport for Depay.

During his time with the Catalan giants, he featured in 42 matches and was directly involved in 16 goals. In the ongoing season, he only played six matches in which he found the back of the net once. Injuries did not help him, and he could not live up to the huge expectations of being a Barcelona forward.

Depay’s transfer to Atletico Madrid is a win-win for all parties involved. The 28-year-old has an opportunity for a fresh start and can revive himself at the Civitas Metropolitano. Atletico Madrid have a new forward who can help their cause in the ongoing season. And, Barcelona have an improved financial statement.

The Big Miss (A Player Who They Should Have Bought): Julian Araujo

Barcelona pushed for the signatures of Julian Araujo on deadline day. But, they could not acquire his services. According to reports they missed out on the player by a few minutes.

The Blaugrana were all set to secure the signing of the LA Galaxy full-back before the transfer deadline. But, according to Toni Juanmarti, the paperwork was delivered past the deadline, and as a result, the Spanish Federation did not approve it.

The Catalan giants do not really have much depth in the full-back region, and the departure of Hector Bellerin meant they needed a right-back before the window closed. Unfortunately, Barcelona could not get the job done. And, now the team is one short in that department.

The LA Galaxy right-back has impressed one and all during his time at the club. Araujo has made 109 appearances for the Major League Soccer club and has been directly involved in 16 goals.

Missing out on the 21-year-old full-back can hurt Barcelona big time. He is a young prospect, and a lot of teams have their sights on him. The Blaugrana might once again push for his signature in the summer but might face a lot more competition considering the quality of the player.

Final Verdict: FAILURE

When we look at the bigger picture, Barcelona did not have the kind of transfer window they needed. Three players left the club, but they could not even make one signing.

The fact that they could not add a right-back into the mix will hurt them big time. Barcelona can once again try for the likes of Sofyan Amrabat and Bernardo Silva in the summer. But, they needed of a full-back, and missing out on that might actually backfire.

Since they are struggling with financial issues, we cannot really criticise them as such. Xavi has done a good job with the team so far. Barcelona are currently top in the league and have a five-point lead over rivals Real Madrid. They have enough squad depth to seal the title. But an injury to one of their full-backs might send them on a downward slope.

However, it is important to note that the departures will help them financially. They will have a better wage structure, and it might help them get a few players in the summer window. They have a few targets that they missed out on in the winter window. But they are likely to push for them again in the summer.

Having said that, it is not an easy situation for Barcelona. There is still a lot of work to be done, in terms of team building and finances. But if they do manage to win La Liga, a lot can change. There will be a new belief in the fans and the players. And it might be the first step towards reigniting the sleeping giant of European football.

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