João Cancelo and João Félix have not played an official match since June. The full-back last lined out on the 20th in Iceland with Portugal. Three days earlier, the striker’s last match took place, also with the national team. And yet, despite the fact that they had only trained, Xavi Hernández took them to Pamplona and ended up returning there in the second half. The last two Barça signings ensure performance, as they are world-class footballers – both were in Qatar 2022 – but they were defenestrated at their owning clubs and have found an unbeatable outlet to relaunch their careers.

one.

The two ex-Benfi players have talent in the dojo. They are two footballers who, when involved, make any team make an important leap. Barça consider that the move makes them strong in Europe. It took barely half an hour for Cancelo, who at 29 has played in Italy, England and Germany, to show what kind of player he is: good centre-back, competitive, smart on the pitch and powerful on the run. João Félix, a crack project in his 23 springs, is a threat to a defense at all times. The full-back has 44 games with Portugal and the striker has been international 31 times. So it is no coincidence that in 2019 Atlético paid 126 million for João Félix, nor that City went looking for Cancelo in an operation valued at 65 million. Barça got them for free… for a year.

2.

The right-back position was a priority that had to be strengthened, especially for Deco. Xavi shot last season with Koundé and Sergi Roberto. Until he was injured, it was Araújo who occupied the position this year. With Cancelo, this problem is solved: hence its importance. He is a wing specialist of a level (in defense and attack) that Barça has not had for a long time (a 38-year-old Alves took over the lane) and is a firm candidate to be the permanent owner of the wing. João Félix is ​​a full-fledged second striker, a position that does not exist at Barcelona. This was a slab with Griezmann, to give a close example… who also came from Atlético. The responsibility is less for the Portuguese. And also the competition. The former matalasser starts as the fifth option of a striker in which there are no longer Memphis, Dembélé, Abde or Ansu Fati. So he will have his matches and, with his imagination, João Félix can save you.

3.

The two footballers’ introductions on Saturday had an emotional edge when Cancelo remembered his mother and João Félix couldn’t hold back a few tears as he hugged his brother and father. The family of both, those who knew them as children, know that for them Barcelona is really special. It cost them. Cancelo was able to arrive in January and Félix was a weakness of Laporta. Now that they have achieved it, even giving up money, it is up to them to take full advantage of it, to convince and not be seen and unseen at Can Barça.

4.

Xavi’s board is in luck. Last year the coach found stability with a fourth midfielder as a false winger. Now he has two new pieces that will allow him many more variants. Without being a left-winger, Cancelo has played on the left side as a winger and at City, with Guardiola, he also practiced this hybrid function of moving forward next to the pivot to help circulation and provide balance. João Félix can even be a relief for Lewandowski, when the 9 rests until Vítor Roque lands. In the extreme, the band would be a starting point. And it could even take a place in the square in the center of the field due to its ease of association. In the event of a system change, the tip of the 3-4-3 rhombus would bear his name.

one.

In the negotiation of the two transfers, Barça studied the possibility of including a purchase option at a fixed price (once it was done with Adama Traoré), but it was discarded. If it had been signed and then made effective, the amount would enter this financial year. Now, these transfers are a danger, because if they go well, both City and Atlético will have the pan by the handle. They will know that Barça wants them and will be able to demand a high price. The coach will bet on footballers that he does not know if he will have next year. It’s a very short-term view at a big club that should plan better.

2.

President Joan Laporta thanked the participation of Jorge Men-des, super agent who is not the first time he has helped Barça, in both presentations. The representative doesn’t kick around, he doesn’t do anything disinterestedly and in the future he can knock on the door of the Barcelona offices with some counterpart. One has to wonder if it is ethical that the departure of Ansu Fati, also a player on their list, generated the necessary space for the João Félix operation. Transparency is non-negotiable.

3.

The two footballers arrive with an asterisk. The same, both. Which corresponds to a character classified as conflicting. Guardiola and Simeone, two disparate technicians, had given them, respectively, the cross. It makes you think. Cancelo went from being a regular to staying on the bench and being transferable. He played the second half of last season at Bayern and was not in the Champions League won. strange João Félix did not tune in with Cholo. The Argentinian coach’s defensive demands irked him on the field. They wanted each other far. First in London, now in Barcelona. The Barça dressing room is a pineapple and it would be a mistake to lose this added value now.