In our Barcelona Loan Watch feature, the Transfer Tavern takes a look at how a selection of players from the club are doing whilst they are away from their home and provide a brief update regarding their progress.
Philippe Coutinho – Bayern Munich
After trading life in Spain for Germany earlier this summer, Philippe Coutinho has adapted to the Bundesliga fairly well. The Brazilian has now made three domestic appearances – two of which have come from the substitutes’ bench – for the Bavarian side, and while he is yet to open his account for his temporary employers – or register an assist – his statistics so far do make for fairly promising reading if you’re a fan of either Bayern or Barcelona.
According to WhoScored, the 27-year-old has averaged 1.3 dribbles and 1.3 tackles in each of his three appearances for the Germans so far, whilst also registering a hugely impressive 85.3% pass completion rate. Although Coutinho was limited to just two minutes from the bench in Saturday’s draw with current league leaders RB Leipzig, he will be hoping to feature from the offset this weekend when Bayern face FC Koln at the Allianz Arena.
If Coutinho is selected by manager Niko Kovač, though, he must try to find the net or at least bag his first assist for the reigning champions, or he could face the prospect of yet again being dropped to the sidelines.
Arda Turan – İstanbul Başakşehir
Forgotten man Arda Turan is entering his second season on loan with Turkish outfit İstanbul Başakşehir, but hasn’t started the campaign as well as he perhaps would have hoped. The 32-year-old has made four appearances for the Super Lig club in all competitions so far, with WhoScored giving him an average rating of just 6.08/10 for his efforts.
The Turkey international has so far registered a pass completion rate of 72.7% – 8% less than what he averaged last term – while his contributions to the attack have been minuscule at best. Turan has so far failed to produce 1 key pass or successful dribble, while he’s found himself dispossessed on average two times per game (via WhoScored).
Things aren’t looking great for the controversial midfielder, whose contract at the Camp Nou expires next summer.
Marc Cucurella – Getafe
Unlike Turan, La Masia academy graduate Marc Cucurella has begun the season with Getafe strongly. The young left-back has so far registered three assists for the La Liga club, with his latest contribution coming on Saturday against Real Betis, as the Spaniards were held in a 1-1 draw for the third consecutive week.
Playing in a more advanced position on the left-hand side of Getafe’s midfield, Cucurella is demonstrating his attacking qualities perfectly, which is sure to stand him in good stead with his parent club, who famously encourage their full-backs to push on and join the attack during games.
Competitions in Barcelona’s first-team are unsurprisingly fierce, especially at left-back where Cucurella has the likes of Jordi Alba and fellow loanee, Junior Firpo, to contend with. However, should he keep up this promising form, there’s nothing to say he couldn’t start to force himself into manager Ernesto Valverde’s plans upon his return to Catalonia next season.
Do any of these players have a future at the Camp Nou?
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