When Lionel Messi told the world that he was leaving Barcelona on a free transfer last summer, their entire football world looked like it was crumbling.
Newly elected president Joan Laporta told everyone that the finances at the club were so bad that the Spanish Football Federation wouldn’t allow the club to re-sign Messi to a new contract, allowing him to join Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.
Ronald Koeman was an unpopular choice in charge, Luis Suarez had just won La Liga with Atletico Madrid and Barca’s squad looked horrendous.
The season hasn’t started particularly well either. They’re currently bottom of their Champions League group, failing to hit a shot on target in their defeats to Bayern Munich and Benfica in their two games so far while they’re languishing in ninth place in La Liga with just three wins from seven games.
But while the performances on the pitch aren’t the best right now, fans are beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Deadline day saw the club finally rid themselves of Antoine Griezmann after a poor two year stint at the Camp Nou.
Koeman promoted some young players into the first-team to help bolster numbers, including youngster Gavi who just became the youngest Spain international ever.
With new superstar Pedri committing his long-term future to the club, signing a new five-year deal with a €1bn release clause, also one of the first-choice midfielders on the team-sheet.
Add to that the fact Frenkie De Jong is already at the club, Memphis is entering his prime years in attack and Ansu Fati has taken the number 10 shirt with no pressure and has returned from serious injury with a point to prove.
It means that while it’s by no means the finished product, there is a silver lining for fans to look forward to.
Eventually Koeman is going to leave and so long as Barcelona can bring someone in with the right mentality and a progressive style, then the foundations are there for them to get back to the top of the mountain.
Barcelona have potentially got three top level midfielders at the start of their careers and one of the best attackers of his generation already at the club and ready to step up into senior roles.
If they can fix their recruitment to get those players the support they need, don’t be shocked to see them make a comeback to the top of the game in the near future.