Jeison Murillo: FC Barcelona's New Loan Signing
What could well be regarded as a brilliant piece of business from Barcelona, Jeison Murillo has been signed from Valencia for a 6 months loan and an option to buy at the end of the season for a reported 23 million dollars.
The Catalan outfit currently have four senior centre-backs, Pique (Right footed), Lenglet (Left footed), Umtiti (Left footed) and Vermaelen (Left footed). Out of these four players, Umtiti and Vermaelen have been sidelined for at least one more month. Moreover, the team don't have any right footed centre back other than Pique and the likes of Chumi and Cuenca from La Masia are too inexperienced to play at this crucial stage which means that there is no one to cover for Pique.
And hence the hunt for a right footed centre back began. It was being made clear by Ajax that they will not sell their star defender De Ligt in January so the Catalans were linked with various centre backs like Koscielny, Chirstensen, Kompany, etc. Koscielny and Kompany are too old to be signed while Chelsea weren't interested in selling Christensen.
FC Barcelona signed the 26 years old Colombian international Jeison Murillo from Valencia for a 6 months loan and an option to buy at the end of the season for a reported 23 million dollars. This was a great move as Kompany and Koscielny were too old and Christensen was untested on European stage, while Murillo has played for good teams like Inter and Valencia and although he has played very less this season, he has been decent whenever called upon. Another good thing is that he is a ball playing centre back, which is a very important attribute for a Blaugrana defender.
With his arrival, we have these five senior centre-backs; Pique, Lenglet, Umtiti, Vermaelen and Murillo. The team also has two promising B team centre backs in Chumi and Cuenca. So, Vermaelen should be sold as we now already have two right and left-footed centre-backs. Although Vermaelen has been decent a servant for the team but his career has been filled with injuries and with age not in his side (33), it's in the best interest of both the club and the player for him to move to another club in January.
Also, Murillo won't have any problem in being a squad rotation player as he will have an opportunity to show his talent at the biggest stage. With Murillo, the Catalan giants are well equipped for the rest of the season. As for the left back position, Miranda has proved in the recent chances given to him that he can be a good back-up for Alba and can only improve in the future.
To conclude, this is the season where FC Barcelona restore its credential as 'the best in Europe' and this time out, they don't have many excuses. So, let's hope for the best.
Published 27 Dec 2018, 19:22 IST