They have been almost natural replacements for Neymar, Griezmann and Courtois on more than one occasion.
The six were the protagonists in the transfer market last summer
Kepa Arrizabalaga, Joao Felix and Ousmane Dembele They share a detail that is still anecdotal on their resumes, but which undoubtedly shaped their respective sports careers. The three have followed in the footsteps of Thibaut Courtois, Antoine Griezmann and Neymar Junior respectively.who are seen in their clubs as an almost self-evident substitute.
Joao, in the footsteps of Griezmann…
Although all three are new, the most recent case is that of Joao Felix. The Portuguese striker joined Barça from Atlético de Madrid, following in the footsteps of France international Antoine Griezmann. The point is that Joao dressed in Rojiblanco in exchange for 127 million euros in 2019, the same year that Antoine took the AVE to Barcelona for 120 million euros…
Antoine was called up to conquer the Camp Nou and ‘Menino’ was the new mattress star, but Griezmann found no success at Barça and returned to Atlético on loan in 2021, only to confirm his transfer a year later. Félix no longer fit into the mattress team after a loan spell at Chelsea at the beginning of the yearIn this summer 2023 market, the Portugal international has joined Barça on loan and has every option to complete his permanent contract on June 30, 2024.
…And Kepa, after Courtois
Just a few weeks earlier and due to a serious injury A similar case occurred between goalkeepers Thibaut Courtois and Kepa Arrizabalaga. The Belgian was (is) undisputed for Carlo Ancelotti, but the serious knee injury he sustained in training forced Real Madrid to make an emergency signing. The club achieved this with the loan of Kepa, who is on loan from Chelsea for one million euros for one season.
Once Courtois overcomes his injury, he will in principle be named Real Madrid’s starting goalkeeper, although that moment won’t come until well into the season. It remains to be seen whether this loan will finally become a transfer in 2024, but in any case, Kepa already took Courtois’ place at Chelsea in 2018, replacing him in goal at Stamford Bridge when Thibaut moved to Real Madrid. The “Blues” paid the 80 million clause to the Athletic Club after receiving 35 million from Madrid for Thibaut.
The case of Neymar and Dembélé
And there is the case of Ousmane Dembélé and Neymar Junior. When the Brazilian moved from Camp Nou to Parque de los Príncipes in 2017 for €222m. Barça replaced him with the Frenchman, who came from Borussia Dortmund, for 135 million. ‘Ney’ failed to find success at PSG and ‘Dembouz’ spent more time injured than healthy at Barcelona.
The events took place this summer. PSG, insuring against the departures of Leo Messi and Neymar, signed Ousmane paying the €50 million of the transition clause he signed, while the Brazilian signed for Al-Hilal paying €90 million to the Parisian club’s coffers