Sergino Dest failed to shine in a Barcelona shirt. He wasn't the only one...

Where are they now? The 8 players signed for Barcelona by Ronald Koeman

Ronald Koeman wasn’t the most successful manager in Barcelona‘s history – & his terrible record in the transfer market was just one of the reasons why.

Koeman, who made 264 appearances for Barca during his playing career, replaced Quique Setien in the Camp Nou hot seat following the club’s humbling 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in 2020.

But the Dutchman was unable to win La Liga in his first season at the club, losing out in the title race to Atletico Madrid, and lifting the Copa del Rey was unlikely to pacify the Barca support for too long.

After a disappointing start to 2021-22 left Barcelona ninth in La Liga, Koeman was sacked in October 2021. We’ve done some digging to uncover what exactly his purchases at Barcelona are up to these days.

Miralem Pjanic

In a deal which raised many questions, Barcelona decided to swap a 23-year-old Arthur Melo, who was a very promising midfielder for them, for a 30-year-old Pjanic from Juventus, whilst both clubs ‘paid’ each other £60million to balance the books in 2020.

Pjanic played 30 times in his one season at the club, although most of these appearances were from the bench, and made the smallest of impacts.

He has since been loaned to Besiktas in Turkey, before joining UAE Pro League club Sharjah on a permanent basis in 2022.

Barcelona lost Arthur and forked out high wages for Pjanic, for one season, zero goals and zero memorable performances from an ageing player. No wonder their finances are screwed.

Sergino Dest

Currently on loan at PSV Eindhoven, Dest has no future at Barcelona.

Despite a decent first season in Spain, the USMNT full-back saw his reputation decline under Koeman’s successor Xavi and he was shipped out to the current Eredivisie leaders in 2023.

Happily, the 23-year-old has been playing some of the best football of his career for PSV, having plenty of success playing on the left-hand side despite nominally being a right-back.

PSV have a €10million option to purchase the full-back at the end of the season and they will surely be tempted to activate that clause.

Memphis Depay

Depay has had a strange career; terrible at Manchester United and brilliant at Lyon, the enigmatic Dutchman arrived at Barcelona in 2021 with a point to prove.

But the attacker was incredibly disappointing in Catalonia, even if his record of 14 goals in 42 appearances was hardly an embarrassment.

Now aged 30, it seems he’s suddenly turned a corner with Atletico Madrid and quietly reinvented himself once again. We’re in awe.

Memphis Depay and Ross Barkley.

READ: 9 forgotten ballers who randomly returned to world-class form in 2023-24

Sergio Aguero

Aguero had already seen out most of his career, winning multiple trophies and becoming one of the greatest Premier League goalscorers at Manchester City, by the time he arrived at Barcelona

But he still had ambitions to fulfil in Spain when forced into retirement in December 2021, following the diagnosis of a heart condition.

Announcing the decision to retire, the former Argentina striker said: “I’m proud of the career I’ve had and am fortunate it is happening to me now rather than before.

“I don’t know what awaits me in the next life but I know there are a lot of people who love me and want the best for me.”

But there have been some reports that he may attempt a comeback after some promising doctor reports.

“Two days ago I did another study and everything went very well,” Aguero told TNT Sports in March 2024.

“Now I’m going to Madrid because I have a tournament, and then to Mexico and the United States for other tournaments. And now I’ll see how I am.

“One never knows but the excitement and the desire is always to return. I don’t want to excite people in that sense. The first thing I want is to be well.

“The desire is always there, I understand that they are excited and I am too, but I don’t want to excite people.”

Eric Garcia

Garcia joined Barcelona from Manchester City in 2021, but the 23-year-old defender found first-team opportunities increasingly hard to come by at Camp Nou.

After making the short journey to Girona for a season-long loan spell, Garcia has found himself at the heart of an unexpected title challenge this season, making 24 appearances for the La Liga upstarts.

With the club still urgently needing funds, Barca might feel unable to resist cashing in on their asset. Plenty of clubs would be interested in his signature.

Emerson Royal

Emerson never actually made an appearance for Barca following his convoluted transfer from Atletico Mineiro (via Real Betis).

Still, the right-back made them a healthy profit when he was sold to Tottenham for approximately €30million. And his erratic performances in England suggest the club made the right decision to move him on.

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name Barcelona’s 25 most expensive sales in history?

Yusuf Demir

Koeman signed Demi on loan from Rapid Wien, with the club having the option to make the deal for the youngster permanent.

But his successor Xavi quickly made up his mind on the youngster and his loan deal was cut short at the first opportunity.

After just nine appearances for Barca, the winger is now on loan at Basel from Galatasaray. Some life.

Luuk de Jong

A deadline day signing from the Sevilla bench in 2021, De Jong could never hope of replacing the outgoing Lionel Messi.

His goal record of six goals in 22 appearances wasn’t terrible, but the striker always looked an awkward fit for the club defined by tiki-taka. and the fans resented his presence.

Fast forward to 2024 and he’s absolutely ripping things up for PSV. Over the last 18 months, he’s managed to bag 40 goals for the Eredivisie outfit with 22 of those strikes coming this season.

He’s in red-hot form right now and is well and truly in the Golden Boot race. Barca supporters will wonder whether his goal record is a misprint.

READ NEXT: The 11 Barcelona teenagers handed La Liga debuts by Xavi & how they’re developing in 2024

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