Barcelona Players Who Would Benefit from a Loan Move

Tre' Atkinson@@TreAtkinsonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 1, 2014

Barcelona Players Who Would Benefit from a Loan Move

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    The January transfer window is finally upon us, which means there are going to be rumors everywhere.

    With Barcelona being the giant club they are, you can expect the Catalans to be part of a lot of those rumors.

    Despite whatever reports emerge in the coming days, there are a few Barcelona players who could actually benefit from spending the rest of the season elsewhere on loan.

    In this article, we will take a look at just which players could leave on loan and how it could help their development. Of course, not everyone can leave, as that would leave the squad depleted.

    * All player statistics are courtesy of WhoScored

Isaac Cuenca and Ibrahim Afellay

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    Barcelona wingers Isaac Cuenca and Ibrahim Afellay have not been healthy in a few years. Both players have struggled with ongoing injuries and their futures at the Catalan club look nonexistent.

    If either of them does get healthy enough to play in this transfer window, you can bet that Barcelona will be looking to find them a new destination to get back into the rhythm of playing.

    Last year, Cuenca spent time at Ajax on loan while Afellay plied his trade with Schalke. Both eventually returned to Barcelona with injuries, and here they are.

    In the grand scheme of things, Barcelona is likely trying to find a loan deal for both players that will likely allow another club to fully purchase the wingers at the end of the current season. 

Sergi Roberto

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    If Barcelona were to put Sergi Roberto on the transfer block, there would be plenty of clubs lining up for him.

    While the Catalans can't afford to lose the midfielder in the long run, a loan move until the end of the season could do wonders for him.

    The 21-year-old has not even played in 10 matches so far this season and his chances have been few and far between. When he does play, he looks spectacular, but he needs more consistent minutes.

    If Barcelona could find a club near the bottom of the La Liga table who would accept Roberto in a loan deal without any purchase option, that would be the best option at this point.

    However, if Roberto were to leave, Barcelona would be left with very little midfield depth. In fact, the depth he provides could be the factor that results in his staying at Barcelona.

    In the end, almost any club that sounds out a move for Roberto will want to make the deal permanent. Barcelona does not want to lose the midfielder for good, but rather, allow him to go somewhere that will give him regular minutes for a few months. 

Jean Marie Dongou

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    Jean Marie Dongou is still a part of Barcelona B, and that may remain the case for another season or so. The 18-year-old has seen time with the first team this season and has looked promising, and it's getting closer to the time when his future must be decided.

    Dongou has been one of the most talked about youth products in the last two years, but he is starting to attract less attention.

    The Cameroon international is being overshadowed by other strikers at Barcelona like Sandro Ramirez and Toni Sanabria. He hasn't been the standout player for the reserve side, and Barcelona must decide how to handle the situation.

    Dongou could remain at Barcelona B and fight for his place in the starting lineup. However, the best option may be to let him leave on loan for the rest of the season and play for a club that is fighting relegation and can promise regular minutes.

    The striker will not demand to be a starter if on loan. It will simply provide a tougher challenge to bring out the best in him.

    Strikers coming out of La Masia have to decide if they are going to play behind Messi for the foreseeable future or ply their trade somewhere else. Dongou's future should be decided soon. 

Cristian Tello

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    This may be the loan move that is the most difficult, but it is also the most needed.

    Cristian Tello has received very few minutes this season and it shows. His form has dropped a lot from last season and at times he is even struggling to keep up with his teammates.

    The best option right now may be to let Tello leave on loan for the rest of the season, since there are plenty of clubs that would love to have him in their starting lineups.

    Regular playing time could help Tello rediscover the form he showed over the past few seasons and give him a better chance to fight for his place in the Barcelona squad next year.

    However, loaning Tello could be a dangerous thing for La Blaugrana.

    It was recently reported by Spanish paper Marca (via Metro) that Tello was very close to joining Liverpool on loan for the rest of the season. If Barcelona wants to keep him in the long run, joining Liverpool isn't the right move.

    A club like Liverpool will likely request a long-term option or a purchase clause in the loan deal. Allowing Tello to join a relatively big club will likely spell the end of his Barcelona career.

    This is a decisive time for Tello.

    Not only is he competing with Neymar, Pedro and Alexis Sanchez, he also knows that Gerard Deulofeu could return next season and would also be above him in the pecking order.

    With him needing more minutes, staying at Barcelona just isn't going to help him. The best choice is to get more minutes on loan.

    Barcelona would like to let Tello leave on loan with hopes that he returns, but the truth is that any move would likely be the end of his Barcelona career. 

    Which players should leave on loan? Do any of these players have a real future at Barcelona? Leave your thoughts and comments below!