Where are they now? Barcelona’s last 11 January signings
Barcelona have tended to avoid doing much business in the January transfer window in years gone by, and it’s not difficult to see when you look at the recent record of their mid-season recruits.
A team as dominant as Barca tend not to be desperate to bolster their squad at this point of the season, although that has changed somewhat in more recent seasons.
We’ve revisited their last 11 January signings to see how they fared and what they’re up to now.
Juan Pablo Sorin
Barring a short spell at Juventus as a teenager, Sorin had spent his entire playing career in South America prior to the 2002-03 season.
He spent the first half of that campaign on loan at Lazio before switching to Barcelona on another temporary deal.
After Barca flirted dangerously close to the relegation zone over the first half of the season, costing Louis van Gaal his job, Sorin helped steady the ship as the club finished sixth. However, he moved on to PSG the following season.
Since retiring in 2009, the former Argentina left-back has worked as a broadcaster.
Barcelona were again struggling at the midway point of 2003-04, with Frank Rijkaard under pressure and the team sitting 12th following a 3-0 defeat at Racing Santander at the start of January.
They eventually finished second, just five points behind champions Valencia, with Davids’ arrival on loan from Juventus credited as being the catalyst for their upturn.
Most significantly, the energy and bite Davids brought to midfield allowed Xavi and Ronaldinho to find their best form for Barcelona. The duo were crucial to the club winning La Liga the following season, by which point Davids had moved on to Inter.
The Dutchman’s most notable role in football in recent years came was a bizarre spell as player-manager at Barnet, which ended with the club languishing in the Conference in 2014.
A madhead goalkeeper signed as back-up initially on loan from Celta Vigo in January 2008, Pinto’s loan move was made permanent at the end of the season and he stayed as an able deputy until 2014.
After retiring, Pinto has been able to focus more on his work as a musician and hip hop producer, releasing music on his own record label under the alter-ego Wahin, with one song used on one of the many dozens of Fast and Furious films.
Injuries have blighted Afellay’s career after joining Barcelona from PSV in January 2011, with the midfielder suffering a serious knee injury in the September that reduced him to just four more appearances for the club.
After loan spells at Schalke and Olympiakos, the Holland international joined Stoke’s Stokealona contingent on a permanent deal only to suffer with more serious knee issues.
Now 34, he’s a free agent after being released by PSV last summer.
Technically signed in the summer of 2015, Vidal was not allowed to be registered by Barcelona until January 2016 while the club served a transfer ban.
After arriving in an initial €18million deal from Sevilla, the right-back failed to establish himself at Camp Nou before being sold back to his former club at a loss in the summer of 2018.
He’s back at Sevilla now, but on the fringes under Julen Lopetegui.
Another player signed in the summer of 2015 who had to sit on the sidelines for the first six months of the season, like Vidal, Barcelona probably needn’t have bothered with Turan.
The former Atletico Madrid midfielder cost Barca an initial €34million but joined Istanbul Basaksehir on a remarkable two-and-a-half-year/please-just-go-away loan deal in January 2018.
Basaksehir terminated Turan’s loan deal earlier this month with the highlights of his spell coming in the form of a 10-match ban for pushing an assistant referee and a suspended prison sentence for brawling with a pop star before firing a gun into the floor of a hospital.
Having played a minor role in Istanbul Basaksehir’s Super Lig title win last season, he’s still in Turkey, having signed a two-year deal with Galatasaray in the summer.
Time to say goodbye. pic.twitter.com/JEuiz97uO3
— Arda Turan (@ArdaTuran) January 13, 2018
A club-record signing, the Brazilian has become a treble-winner since his January 2018 move helped Liverpool fund the transformative Virgil van Dijk.
That sounds like value for money. The only issue is that it was on loan at Bayern Munich, and he scored two goals off the bench against his parent club in a humiliating 8-2 thrashing in the Champions League.
He’s now back at the Camp Nou, but has been in and out of the team under Ronald Koeman.
Despite playing just 377 minutes of first-team football in six months at the Camp Nou after joining from Palmeiras for €11.8million, three goals at the 2018 World Cup meant Barca could almost treble their money by selling the centre-back to Everton for €30million that summer.
He’s now into his third season in England and steadily improving at Goodison Park.
In January 2019, Barcelona agreed to sign Todibo on a free transfer upon the expiry of his Toulouse contract, only to pay a small fee to bring the transfer forward and sign the young defender in the winter window.
After making five first-team appearances, the 20-year-old was sent out on loan to Schalke with an option for the German club to make the deal permanent for €25million.
They didn’t, and he’s since been sent out to Benfica, but Jorge Jesus doesn’t see much of a use for him, with just a solitary appearance in the Portuguese cup to date.
A loan signing to provide some squad depth, Murillo made just four appearances before joining Sampdoria in the summer of 2020. The Italian club have since opted to loan him away, and he’s now in a second successive stint back in Spain with Celta Vigo.
One of the strangest signings of the 2019 January transfer window, Boateng unexpectedly joined Barcelona on loan from Sassuolo.
Four appearances and zero goals later, Barca opted against signing the former Portsmouth man on a permanent deal, and he instead swapped clubs in Serie A by moving to Fiorentina.
He’s now playing alongside Mario Balotelli for Silvio Berlusconi’s Monza, who are pushing for promotion to the Italian top flight.