FC Barcelona has a new central defender in the shape of Jérémy Mathieu.The French defender who was about to leave for Peru with Valencia for their pre-season campaign, has signed for the Catalan club for 4 seasons for a fee of €20m euros.There will also be an optional season included in the deal.
There will also be a buyout clause of 50 million euros. Mathieu is a tall strong defender who is comfortable at various positions at the back. He’s 1.92 m tall and would pose a threat to any forwards wishing to take him on.
Mathieu has good skill and a great positional sense.He’s been playing as a left back for most of his career but has moved into a central defensive role, which he is also comfortable with.
Mathieu started his professional career with Sochaux and also made 112 appearances for Toulouse before joining Valencia CF in the summer of 2009.
The 30 year old’s signing comes after ex Barça player Rafael Marquez warned the Catalans not to sign him. Mexican Marquez believes that the ex Valencia player hasn’t got what it takes to cut it at the Nou Camp.
Barcelona have been on the lookout for a new central defender ever since Carles Puyol hung up his boots and were highly tipped to sign Mats Hummels from Dortmund. However, that deal fell through and Hummels was said to turn down Barcelona for Manchester United.
Marquez said in an interview with RAC1: “I don’t think he has the profile to play for Barcelona and even less so for this price.”
“Hopefully they’ll think well about this and if they’re going to splash out like that, it’s for someone who is actually worthwhile.”
Tough words from Marquez but the deal has been done and the fans will be the judge if Mathieu has been worthwhile or not.