8) Alex Song
The Cameroonian was one of the most sought after players back in 2012. The likes of Manchester United were interested in his services after it became clear that Song would not prolong his stay at Arsenal. Barcelona though finally signed the midfielder for around 15 million euros. In Spain though, Song failed to settle in with the passing and pressing game of Barcelona. A loan spell to West Ham followed where Song once again found his feet but a recurrence of injuries halted his chances. He currently plies his trade in Russia with Rubin Kazan.
7) Alen Halilovic
Perhaps guilty of making a move to a big club too soon, in fairness, Alen Halilovic looked the real deal when he broke to the scene after making a debut for Dinamo Zagreb at the tender age of 16. However, the young Croatian’s time with Barca was cut short with a transfer embargo and reports that his father had undermined Barca B coach. He joined Hamburg in the Bundesliga after a failed spell with Sporting de Gijon, but did not set the world alight. He is currently at Las Palmas, where the club are struggling in a relegation battle.
6) Dmytro Chygrynskiy
The defender joined Barca back in ’09 for a reported 22 million Euros. While the signing did not make much sense at the time, there were expectations that Guardiola would carve out a top player from the Ukrainian. That did not happen though, as the defender failed to adjust with the passing game. After just 10 league starts in the entire season, Chygrynskiy’s old club came back calling and was signed back for 10 million Euros. Only this time though, the Ukrainian failed to rediscover his best form. After 5 years of mediocrity with Shakhtar, the defender left for AEK Athens in Greece.
5) Arda Turan
During his time with Atletico Madrid, Turan became one of the best creative midfielders in Europe. His rich vein of form enticed many clubs like Manchester United and Chelsea, both of whom were ultimately defeated by Barca for his signature. The move did make sense at the time as Barca had signed a potentially world class midfielder. Things did not go as per planned for the Turkish though as after waiting for six months to make his debut due to the transfer embargo, he failed to find his best for the Catalans. He finally ended his miserable time joining Istanbul Basaksehir on loan.
4) Alexander Hleb
Another ex-Arsenal player to make a move to the Catalans, Hleb joined Barca in 2008 on the back off a fine season with the Gunners. A fine midfielder during his time at the Emirates, the Belarusian though failed to display his top form for the Barca. In his four years at the club, Hleb managed just 36 appearances which demonstrate his misery. Finally in 2012 after loan spells with Birmingham and Stuttgart, Hleb left Barca for Russian side, Krylia Sovetov Samara. He currently plays for Bate Borisov where he is now in his fifth spell for the club.
Brought in as a long term replacement for Dani Alves, Douglas has horribly failed during his time with Barca. The Brazilian joined Barca after some terrific performances in the Copa Sudamericana in 2012 for Sao Paulo. But the move to Barca arguably came too soon with Douglas having virtually no experience of playing in Europe before. Like Halilovic, Douglas was shipped out on loan to Sporting de Gijon last season. He is currently on loan at Benfica, where he has not exactly impressed once again.
One of the worst signings by Barcelona in the last decade, Kierrison joined Barca in 2009. At the time, Kierrison was one of the hottest prospects after his goal scoring exploits in Brazil with Palmeiras. Barca were keen to make the most of the signing and sought to send Kierrison on loan to get some experience in Europe before making the leap. He joined Benfica but under Jorge Jesus, Kierrison failed to find his goal scoring touch and ultimately fell down the pecking order, forcing Barca to cut short his loan deal. He then moved to Fiorentina, where another paucity of goals followed. Kierrison finally moved back to Coritiba in 2014 and currently plays in the second division of Brazilian football.
A career significantly marred with injuries, Afellay was an interesting prospect during his time with PSV. And when Barca signed him, it looked like the perfect match because of Afellay’s supreme technical ability and Guardiola’s tactical nous. Unfortunately for Afellay, he never remained consistently fit enough to make an impact. His time with Schalke and Olympiacos was a similar story before Afellay finally left Barca to join Stoke City. At the Britannia, Afellay’s career got off to a fine start but last season, he once again grappled with injuries, which has virtually ended his career with the Potters as well.