At first glance, it appears as though FC Barcelona suffered major blows during the summer transfer window. However, new arrival Sergio Aguero has warned rivals that they are still ready to fight for titles despite the fact that they have lost a number of key players.
The biggest news of the summer was Lionel Messi's departure due to Barcelona's inability to extend his contract. This is of course mostly due to the fact that their financial crisis has left them with their hands tied behind their backs. The club worked hard to find a way to keep Messi, but ultimately, they simply could not afford him.
Incidentally, they signed striker Sergio Aguero from Manchester City as part of an elaborate plan to convince Messi to stay. Unfortunately, even if Messi had eventually agreed to stay, he had to leave due to circumstances that were beyond his control. Now, it is Aguero himself who is warning rivals that the Blaugrana should not be written off for this season.
"Being Barca, we have to fight for all the titles," he told RAC1 as quoted by Marca. He then recalled how difficult it is to face Barcelona, based on his experience from the other side.
"I don't think we are favourites, but rivals have respect for us. I have played against Barca at a bad moment against City and I knew that they were Barca. Watch out for us," he warned.
Aguero's confidence comes even after the club also let go of Antoine Griezmann in the final day of the transfer window. The Frenchman was sent off on loan back to La Liga title holders Atletico Madrid. He will no doubt strengthen the defending champions this season, and he will also have former Barcelona star Luis Suarez with him.
Nevertheless, Aguero thinks Barcelona have a fighting chance. Unfortunately, he has not been able to make a contribution himself, as he continues a 10-week recovery period for a calf injury he picked up in the pre-season.
The Argentine has not officially made his debut as a Barcelona player yet, but he is hoping to be available by October. Meanwhile, manager Ronald Koeman is having to make do with limited options.
Luckily, another summer arrival, Memphis Depay, has been living up to expectations. He has already been impressive so far this season, and fellow Dutchman Luuk de Jong is also expected to boost the squad.
New number 10 Ansu Fati is also expected to return after a lengthy injury, and together, they will be working hard to fill the void left behind by the former captain.