One of the shocking revelations of this edition of the World Cup was that the triumphant Argentina team did not even have a single player belonging to Barcelona, even at a time when the club had 17 representatives in the competition – more than any other team.
A recent report from SPORT has explored the situation more, highlighting the lack of efficiency and vision from the Catalans, when it comes to exploiting the South American market like they historically did
The report suggests Barcelona had the option of signing two of Argentina’s young gems in the form of Julian Alvarez and Enzo Fernandez, for a combined fee of around €30 million.
Fernandez was one of Argentina’s mainstays in midfield. His work ethic, coupled with his aggression and defensive work played a key role in helping La Albiceleste form a formidable second line of press and even won the Best Young Player of the Tournament award.
Currently plying his trade for Benfica, Fernandez was available for a fee of just €10 million in January when he was still at River Plate. But the player was eventually snapped up by Benfica in the summer and is now expected to cost a fortune, with Barça interested.
The same applies to Alvarez, who played a key role for Argentina in the knockout rounds. He, too, was available for a fee of around €20 million in January, before he eventually joined Manchester City.
Combining the two, Barcelona would have only had to pay around €30 million to complete the capture of both Fernandez and Alvarez. The two youngsters, aged 21 and 22 respectively, could have made a strong impact on the Barcelona first-team and that too, for a nominal fee.
But it appears both the Argentine international are unrealistic options for Barcelona now, as Fernandez is set to cost a fortune while Alvarez has just joined at Manchester City and is expected to continue at Etihad Stadium in the years to come.