The Brazilian had been a regular for most of his time at Spurs but always failed to impress in a manner that he probably would have wanted. So it was little surprise when Daniel Levy sanctioned Paulinho’s sale to Guangzhou. At Guangzhou though, Paulinho was impressive and his fine form earned him a place back in the national team. In addition, it also convinced Barcelona to fork out a massive 40 million for the midfield powerhouse. His signing was looked on with great scepticism partly due to his lack of finesse and technical ability. Against all odds though, the Brazilian performed admirably during his solitary season at the club. He added the steel to the midfield which was lacking for quite some time. However, the volatile nature of football saw Paulinho move back to Guangzhou after just one season.
4) Thomas Vermaelen
The Belgian was one of the many talented players of his country’s golden generation. At Arsenal, he justified the hype and quickly became a central figure at the back for the Gunners. He was even named Arsenal’s captain. However, injuries regularly hampered his progress and therefore it was a huge surprise when Barca signed Vermaelaen in the summer of 2014. The Belgian has struggled for consistency and appearances during his five-year stay at the club so far. His nightmare at Barca looks set to end this summer with his contract expiring.
3) Alex Song
The Cameroonian was the target of some of Europe’s top clubs after his impressive showing with Arsenal in the midfield. Manchester United were reportedly keen on his services but Song decided to move to Barca. However, with the likes of Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets at their peak, Song found it incredibly difficult to break in the first team. He moved to West Ham on loan and has since represented Rubin Kazan as well as Sion.
2) Emmanuel Amunike
Amunike played a starring role in Nigeria’s African Cup of Nations triumph in 1994. He was equally prominent in Nigeria’s run to knockout stages in the 1994 World Cup. His exploits earned him African player of the year in the same year, which also helped him earn a move to Europe via Sporting Lisbon. During his two years in Portuguese capital, he impressed enough to convince Barca to sign him. In Spain though, Amunike failed to replicate his best form and could only appear 19 times across four years.
When it was reported that Chygrynskiy’s arrival was Pep Guardiola’s priority, the football world suddenly started to get notice of the defender. After all, the Spaniard had been relentlessly successful and had already proved that he had an eye for a talented player. While the defender became the first Ukrainian player to represent the club, he did not impress at all. Tipped to become a long term successor to Carlos Puyol, the defender failed miserably and his time at Barca came to an abrupt end after just one season.