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Barcelona sign French defender Jeremy Mathieu for $27 million

Jul 23, 2014, 10:18 AM EDT

Everton's Robles and Valencia's Mathieu fight for the ball during a cornerkick at their Guinness International Champions Cup soccer match in Miami Gardens

Barcelona have completed the signing of French defender Jeremy Mathieu from Valencia, as new boss Luis Enrique continues to stamp his mark on the Catalan club.

Mathieu, 30, is a towering left back or central defender who has played for Valencia since 2009 and he will add a solid core at the back for the Blaugrana. He will be unveiled on Thursday at the Nou Camp.

On paper, this seems like a strange signing but Enrique is moving fast to address his needs.

How many times over the past five, six seasons have we seen Barcelona dominate teams, then come undone to their Achilles heel of failing to defend set pieces or one hopeful cross being knocked home by the opposition? Plenty, is the answer.

Mathieu is known for his aerial dominance and alongside Gerard Pique in the back four, the two will provide Barca with a sensationally solid platform to build off. It would seem as though Mathieu will line up alongside Pique in central defense with Jordi Alba at left back and Dani Alves at right back, as Enrique prefers to go with a fluid 4-3-3 formation in line with Barca’s soccer philosophy.

We know Barcelona possess wonderful attacking talents in Lionel Messi, Neymar and know Luis Suarez, but it is good to see them make more pragmatic and sensible signings. That bodes well for Enrique’s first season in charge as the former Barca midfielder continues to build his own squad primed for success after a trophyless 2013-14 campaign for former Barcelona gaffer Gerardo Martino.

  1. mrsingh24 - Jul 23, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    How could they not have spent a bit more money for Mat Hummels?

    • tarotsujimoto74 - Jul 23, 2014 at 12:28 PM

      As much as I’d like Barca to sign him, there’s no given that Hummels even wants to go to there. Can’t assume that they haven’t tried to acquire him.

      • mrsingh24 - Jul 24, 2014 at 6:14 PM

        I would think any player would want to play for one of the greatest teams in the world.

  2. Rich Hampson - Jul 24, 2014 at 6:52 AM

    Whilst Mathieu is certainly a decent player, that kind of fee for a defender of that age seems incredulous. Hummels must have been available for that kind of fee (or a bit more), hell, if they’d moved quickly enough they could have acquired Vidic on a free at the end of last season.

    • tarotsujimoto74 - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:32 AM

      Luiz was just bought for 50M pounds and you think Hummels would be there for ~20M Euro? Vidic doesn’t fit within the system especially because Barca needed a quicker defender.

      • Rich Hampson - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:50 AM

        I think 20-30 would have gotten Hummels. German clubs don’t seem to add the ridiculous premiums to transfers other nations do – just look how relatively cheaply Kroos went to Madrid for.

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