BEVERLY HILLS, June 02, (THEWILL) – A major Barcelona squad reshuffle is expected in the period before the 2021/2022 football season commences as new President Joan Laporta effects necessary changes to the structure and administration of football at Camp Nou.
But that has not stopped them bringing in the necessary personnel they will need for the new system.
Therefore, on Wednesday, after Monday’s unveiling of former English Premier League’s Manchester City legend, Sergio Aguero, the Catalan club confirmed the full signing of Emerson Royal, whom they had previously co-owned with Real Betis, another La Liga club.
Having impressed with his energetic displays at right-back in the last two seasons on loan at Betis, the player has returned to the La Blaugrana fold. His sensational two campaigns at Betis saw the defender score four goals and provide an impressive 10 assists, which are remarkable statistics for a defender in the top flight.
He was the most played member of the Betis squad in the 2020/2021 season, as he contributed immensely to the sixth place finish of Manuel Pellegrini’s side that guaranteed them a UEFA Europa League spot.
As part of an arrangement allowed in La Liga, Barcelona and Betis signed an agreement to bring him to Spain from Atletico Mineiro in 2019 with the responsibility to split the transfer fee between them and retain some of his economic rights each. Now, what Barcelona did to get him fully was to exercise an included clause by paying Betis €6m.
It means Royal will slot into the defensive lineup as Camp Nou and stiffen the competition for places at right-back, which will place him in contention with the American Sergino Dest and possibly Sergi Roberto as well, when he returns to full fitness and active football again after spending the majority of the campaign injured and on the sidelines.
Part of the oreorganisation at Barca may affect Roberto, even if he returns to fitness. Wage cuts are planned across board at the club after the infliction of financial burdens at the Catalan side worsened with the coronavirus. He may not agree to these cuts which may imply that he will be shipped off with interests in his skills coming from clubs such as EPL side Manchester City.
As many as 10 players are on the potential shipping list too in Laporta’s restructuring efforts to slim down the books and the wage bill. Some of these are Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho, who are part of a costly investment that failed to provide justification for the massive financial outlay.
As Laporta tries to make the club more financially responsible, the need to strengthen parts of the squad that are still deficient has led to smart decisions of targeting players that can be attracted to La Blaugrana on free transfers. The City pair of Sergio Aguero and former Culer, Eric Garcia, have both arrived, while Memphis Depay and Gini Wijnaldum are likely to join them after Euro 2020, all for free.