Barcelona’s last 10 big-name sales – and how they’ve subsequently fared

Quick Reads

Barcelona have allowed five first-team regulars to leave as they look to rebuild the squad under Ronald Koeman at the Nou Camp.

Koeman has kept hold of Lionel Messi, against the Argentine’s wishes, but lost Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Nelson Semedo, Arturo Vidar and Arthur, despite all of them featuring heavily last season.

We’ve taken a look at how Barca’s previous 10 first-teamers have fared after leaving. Please note, we have only included players who made 20+ appearances in their final full season with the club.


Despite hijacking Malcom’s move to Roma in 2018, Barcelona decided to offload the winger to Zenit Saint Petersburg just 12 months later.

Injuries restricted the 23-year-old to 15 appearances in all competitions in his debut season at Zenit, but he still helped the club win the Russian Premier League and the Russian Cup.

Andre Gomes

Gomes was deemed surplus to requirements at Barcelona and joined Everton on a permanent deal in 2019 following a successful loan spell with the Toffees.

The 27-year-old suffered a horrific fracture-dislocation of his right ankle in a challenge with Tottenham’s Son Heung-min in November 2019 but returned to action just 112 days later.

He has been a first-team regular under Carlo Ancelotti and is now part of a new-look midfield alongside Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure.

Barcelona replaced Gomes by spending £65million on Frenkie de Jong after the midfielder starred for Ajax in the 2018-19 campaign.

READ: The €954m Barcelona have spunked on 27 players since 2015

Paco Alcacer

Alcacer generally served as Luis Suarez’s understudy at Barcelona before joining Borussia Dortmund in search of regular first-team football.

Despite scoring 23 goals in 37 Bundesliga games, the striker lost his place in the side after the signing of Erling Haaland in January 2020 .

The 27-year-old then returned to Spain and completed a £19.3million move to Villarreal.


Eyebrows were raised when Barcelona signed former Tottenham flop Paulinho from Guangzhou Evergrande for £36million in 2017.

The midfielder spent just one season at the Camp Nou and completed a permanent move back to Guangzhou Evergrande in January 2019.

He played an integral role in their Chinese Super League success in 2019, registering 19 goals and six assists in 29 league appearances.

Arturo Vidal arrived from Bayern Munich as a replacement for Paulinho at Barcelona and made 96 appearances during his two years in Spain.

READ: Ranking Barcelona’s 16 weirdest signings so far this millennium

Lucas Digne

After failing to usurp Jordi Alba as the first-choice left-back at the Camp Nou, Digne completed an £18million move to Everton in 2018.

The France international was named their Player of the Season in 2018-19 and has established himself as one of the best full-backs in the Premier League.

Aleix Vidal

Vidal struggled to establish himself as a first-team regular during his three years at Barcelona before returning to former club Sevilla in 2018.

His second spell at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan has followed a similar trajectory, and he spent the 2019-20 season on loan at Alaves.

Andres Iniesta

You may have heard of him.

Iniesta brought an end to his 22-year association with Barcelona in 2018, having won nine La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues.

The midfielder joined Japanese side Vissel Kobe on a free transfer and continues to showcase his incredible skills in the J League. 

He added yet another trophy to his collection in January 2020, helping Vissel Kobe to a 2–0 victory over Kashima Antlers in the final of the 2019 Emperor’s Cup.

Barcelona signed Arthur from Gremio in the summer of 2018 but filling Iniesta’s shoes proved to be an impossible task, and he left for Juventus this summer.

READ: Nine reasons Andres Iniesta is an icon: ‘Everything is different with Andres’

Javier Mascherano

Mascerano fell down the pecking order under Ernesto Valverde and joined Chinese Super League side Hebei China Fortune after eight trophy-laden years at the Camp Nou.

The 36-year-old made 54 appearances during his two years at Hebei before returning to his native Argentina with Estudiantes in January 2020.

Yerry Mina replaced Mascherano at the Camp Nou but made just six appearances for the club before joining Everton.


Neymar completed a world record £198million move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 with a view to increasing his chances of winning the Ballon d’Or.

The Brazil international continues to divide opinion but has an impressive return of 70 goals in 86 appearances for the Ligue 1 side.

Barcelona reinvested that money on Ousmane Dembele, but the winger has been hampered by serious injury problems for the last three years.


READ: Neymar & the perils of having an angel on one shoulder & a devil on the other

Claudio Bravo

Bravo became one of Pep Guardiola’s first signings at Manchester City in 2016, but the goalkeeper was replaced by Ederson following a series of high-profile errors.

The Chile international spent four seasons at the Etihad before returning to Spain with Real Betis in 2020.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen became Barcelona’s No.1 following Bravo’s departure and the Germany international has developed into one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

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