Ronald Koeman has admitted that the hectic business carried out by the club on deadline day was “a b*tch
Owing to their crippling debt levels, the Blaugrana spent the majority of their transfer window attempting to lower their wage bill.
Because of the club’s financial situation, Koeman agreed to Griezmann’s departure
Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has admitted that the hectic business carried out by the club on deadline day was “a b*tch”. Owing to their crippling debt levels, the Blaugrana spent the majority of their transfer window attempting to lower their wage bill. The cost-cutting exercise continued through to deadline day, with Antoine Griezmann departing the club and Luuk de Jong being brought in at the last minute. With moves for Griezmann and De Jong having gone to the wire in terms of when the paperwork was filed, Koeman told reporters: “The aggravation we had on the last day, with practically no time to find a solution, it was a b*tch. Griezmann had a great contract and if he left it was going to help improve the financial situation of the club. That’s why I agreed to his departure.”
De Jong is going to give Barca something different
The addition of De Jong, a classic number nine far from in keeping with the type of mobile striker Barca would typically sign, appeared to many as something of a panic move. Koeman, however, insists that is not the case. “I had already spoken to De Jong in early August about the possibility of signing him,” the Dutchman said. “I wanted a forward different from what I had, and I thought of him because I know him very well. In fact, I was wondering how Barca might have never had a forward like Luuk. He is going to give us something different, especially with his aerial game and in set-pieces. With him, we can play a more direct style. I’m thrilled with his signing.”
The loss of Lionel Messi to PSG has obviously been a massive blow for Koeman, with the club relying massively on the Argentine’s goal output.
With the onus now on the squad to spread the load in terms of goals, however, the head coach will soon be able to call on a clutch of attacking players that have been sidelined with injury – something he is very much looking forward to. “I know Ansu Fati very well, and I know what he can give us,” Koeman said of Barca’s new No.10. “But we don’t want to rush him; he has been standing still for a long time. There is still much to do – the same goes for Coutinho. I’m 100 per cent convinced that Coutinho has the talent to succeed at Barca; I like him a lot. The last injury he had was a strong blow for him, and he has to recover well both physically and mentally to come back stronger than ever.”