After a very disappointing and turbulent year in which Barcelona suffered hits from various sides, it seems that Blaugrana slowly clawed out of the hole and got back on the right path. Of course, everything is still shaky and in the works, but from what we see now, the Spanish powerhouse looks far better than in the 2021/22 campaign.
According to bookies’ La Liga predictions, the team from Camp Nou is the second favorite for the title, but we need to say that the gap between them and Real is much thinner than before. Especially after the recent win in El Clasico during the US tour.
Raphinha scored the only goal in that contest, resulting in an incredibly important victory for the Catalonian unit. Beating Real, even in one friendly game, is vital for the unit’s morale, especially if there are plenty of new players at the beginning.
Now about the new players, Barcelona has a few of them. For the moment, it seems that Blaugrana hit the jackpot with each of its major signings, and just to add, a few more players are in talks with the five-time European champions.
According to La Liga picks, the top two acquisitions are Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski. The first arrived from Leeds, while the second landed from Bayern Munich. Both had a specific desire to come to play for Xavi, and they forced their previous clubs to send them to Barcelona.
Raphinha had a more generous offer from Chelsea, who not only gave the player a higher salary, but its bid to Leeds was more lucrative than the one Barca sent. The player refused a transfer to Stamford Bridge, expressing his wish to go to Spain. Meanwhile, Robert Lewandowski forced his way out of Bayern, openly stating that he didn’t want to play for Bayern anymore. Lewa also wanted Barcelona and no other team, which in the end happened, as the Bavarians had no other options but to honor the wish of their superstar.
The two were starters against Real Madrid, and they made an impact. Lewa was playing solid, having in mind that this was his debut, while Raphinha delivered a score in the 27th minute. So all in all, this is very good for the start. The Brazilian also hit the back of the net on his debut against DC United.
We have to mention that Barcelona landed two more players, both on a free transfer – Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen. Both are relatively young and have their prime ahead of them, which will be very useful to Xavi and the team.
Kessie comes from AC Milan, where he won the title and was one of the most valuable players in the lineup. His radius of movement on the pitch is incredible, meaning that he will complement Gavi and Pedri perfectly and that the youngsters will have much more freedom in organizing the attacks.
Christensen is a proven centre-back who has vast experience. He was the first player revealed to sign with Barcelona, and that news kinda went under the radar because of all the other information at the time. He will be the starting defender and arguably the leader of the back line.
One more success of the organization during the summer was a contract extension with Ousman Dembele, who was at the exit doors at one point.
While we write this article, Barcelona’s management is in talks with a few other players. According to the media, Cesar Azpilicueta and Jules Kounde might end up at Camp Nou until the end of the transfer window.
Overall, for the moment, Barcelona did a great job with the arrivals, landing a few top-class players and keeping one of the biggest talents in the world. So even though La Liga predictions today see Blaugrana in the second spot behind Real, that can easily change during the season.