Ansu Fati during the UEFA Europa League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and AEK Athens at AMEX Stadium, Falmer, September 2023.

The 6 Barcelona players out on loan in 2023-24 and how they’ve been faring

Barcelona have one of the best squads in world football, meaning a number of well-renowned players are spending the 2023-24 campaign on loan elsewhere.

After winning La Liga last season, Xavi has strengthened his squad with the signings of Ilkay Gundogan, Joao Cancelo and Joao Felix among others. This has meant a number of previous first-team regulars have been forced to look elsewhere for regular football.

We’ve looked into all of those sent out on loan by Barcelona and assessed how they have done in the 2023-24 season so far.

Pablo Torre

Girona have made an impressive start to their La Liga campaign, winning five of their first six matches and nestling themselves between Barcelona and Real Madrid in the embryonic league table.

To put it another way, Torre has landed on his feet after completing a season-long loan move across Catalonia.

The attacking midfielder, who has played in the Champions League for Barca, has largely been used as a substitute so far but has still managed to make five appearances for his new side.

Julian Araujo

Signed from LA Galaxy in February 2023, Araujo is thought to have the potential to become Barca’s starting right-back for the next decade.

“I want to play at the top teams, the top leagues, and I’m someone that wants to learn every day and I want to continue to grow and take advice from the best players possible, from the best teams, from the best coaching staff,” the Mexico international said before moving to Barca.

“In order for me to reach my highest potential, I definitely think I need to go to Europe.”

The 22-year-old is spending the season at Las Palmas and has made three appearances for the La Liga newcomers.

Sergino Dest

Unlike Torre and Araujo, Dest has no future at Barcelona.

The USA international has seen his reputation decline under Xavi’s management, despite a decent first season in Spain, and he was shipped out to PSV Eindhoven over the summer.

He was part of the backline that shipped four to Arsenal in their Champions League opener, but there’s every chance Dest will rediscover his mojo in the Eredivisie this season.

Clement Lenglet

After spending last season at Tottenham, Lenglet clearly fell in love with England and English football judging by his decision to spend the 2023-24 campaign at Aston Villa.

Unai Emery’s upwardly mobile side appears to be a good choice for the France defender who was a first-team regular at Barcelona until Xavi’s arrival in 2021.

He’s only made one appearance for Villa so far, starting their Europa Conference League defeat at Legia Warsaw, but there will be plenty more opportunities as the fixture list gets busier over the winter months.

Ansu Fati

Fati may have found first-team opportunities harder to come by after his injury problems, but it was still a significant surprise that Barcelona loaned the 20-year-old to Brighton in August.

Having taken Lionel Messi’s No. 10 shirt at Camp Nou, the sky was the limit for Fati, but the player once regarded as a generational talent needs to use his time in England to kickstart his career.

Fati played the full 90 minutes of Brighton’s Europa League match with AEK Athens and made his Premier League bow against Bournemouth three days later.

“To all intents and purposes, he is the perfect De Zerbi player: quick, intelligent, and one who can explode with the ball in the final third,” former Seagull Gerry Armstrong said recently.

“He causes problems when the ball’s at his feet and defenders have got to be on their toes.

“He’s technically very, very good and once he builds up his match fitness, getting those minutes on the pitch, hopefully we’ll then see the Ansu Fati that destroyed defences in Spain and the Champions League.”

Everyone hopes Fati can regain his confidence at Brighton and become the player we all thought he would.

Eric Garcia

Garcia played in Barca’s opening two La Liga matches before making a surprise switch to Girona as the transfer deadline neared.

“One of the reasons [why I joined Girona] is to be able to add minutes,” the former Manchester City defender said about his decision. “It is important for me to have continuity and the end of last season was difficult for me. I think Girona is the best opportunity I had.

He added that leaving Barcelona was a difficult decision to make, although it was for the benefit of everyone involved.

“Yes, it costs. It was my third season there and it is not easy, but everyone also has to think about their case and it was my turn to play and enjoy. That’s why I made that decision,” he admitted.

Garcia made his debut in a 4-2 win over Granada, partnering Daley Blind in the heart of defence. He also started their 5-3 win over Mallorca, suggesting he’s having fun despite not making Girona’s defence watertight just yet.

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