Munir El Haddadi has joined Sevilla for a fee of around £1million, leaving a striker shortage at Barcelona.
The forward, who came through the youth system at the Catalan club and has had spells on loan at Valencia and Alaves, was out of contract at the end of the season and turned down a new deal with the Liga leaders.
That refusal to sign saw him ruled out of Barca’s recent matches and he now departs for Sevilla, where he will compete with Andre Silva and Wissam Ben Yedder for a starting spot.
But his exit leaves Barca with a problem as there is now no back-up for Luis Suarez in the centre-forward role.
With Munir at Alaves last season and at Valencia for the previous campaign, Paco Alcacer was the reserve striker at Camp Nou, but the Spain forward left to join Borussia Dortmund on loan in the summer following a lack of opportunities and has now made the move permanent.
Suarez is rarely sidelined, of course, having missed only 11 matches due to injury in his entire career. That is an incredible record, but the lack of a back-up option means it will be more difficult for him to be rested between now and the end of the season.
The Uruguayan did not feature in 2-1 loss away to Levante in the Copa del Rey on Thursday night as Lionel Messi also sat out, but Barca’s attack was not very effective without a centre-forward and the situation is not ideal.
The cup competition is not a priority this season, however, and Barca fans will hope Suarez is kept fresh for more important matches in the Champions League and La Liga.
As things stand, the Catalans are unlikely to sign a striker in the current window to replace Munir, with Messi able to play as a false nine if necessary, as well as Ousmane Dembele and Malcom. Youngster Abel Ruiz could also be promoted from Barca B to provide back-up.