Was Frenchman Jeremy Mathieu a good buy or was Barça wasting its money? That is the question everyone is asking this morning after waking up to the news that the club has signed a 30 year-old on a four year deal for €20m euros.
It appears to many that Barcelona’s transfer policy is going from bad to worse with the introduction of the Frenchman. Ok, he’s got the height, something that Barcelona needs, but is he the ideal man for the central defender’s position?
Mathieu is the first purchase of a player in that position since the ill fated arrival of Dmytro Chygrynskiy from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2009. Chygrynskiy made just 12 appearances in the only season he was to play at the Nou Camp.
Splashing out €20m euros on a player that is 30 years old is, in many fans eyes, an erosion of true Barcelona values. Fans will want to know why they couldn’t produce an exciting central defender from the club’s famed “La Masia” youth program.
Rafael Marquez was scathing in yesterday’s post when he said: “I don’t think he has the profile to play for Barcelona and even less so for this price.”
And Barcelona legend and creator of the new style Barça, even before Guardiola, Johan Cruyff said in april to a Croatian newspaper: “Barça are vulnerable because of catastrophic failures in the last four or five years. I’m not surprised that there isn’t continuity. There isn’t a plan. There aren’t any rules.”
Cruyff is like a spot on Barcelona’s face that won’t go away. Love him or hate him, he still comes up with valuable nuggets of wisdom that the club fail to listen to.
Barcelona have chosen to go down the route of Real Madrid with signings in as much as sign a top star then ask questions.There is no doubt that Neymar is a talented young man, but look at the mess such a signing caused Barcelona. The signing of Luis Suárez also comes with much baggage and he won’t be around for 4 months either due to the ban he picked up at the World Cup for biting Giorgio Chiellini.
This is what Cruyff’s on about. The club he worked hard at to instil certain values has now become a mirrored reflection of Real Madrid or everything Barça didn’t want to be.