Barcelona have completed their third signing of the season with the arrival of Malcom, from Bordeaux, announced via the club's official Twitter account on Tuesday evening. The 21-year-old Brazilian looked set to join Roma on Monday evening, but Barcelona swooped in with an 11th-hour bid to land the highly-rated youngster in a deal worth a reported €41 million.
The transfer has left Roma fuming, with the Italian club likely to initiate legal action against both Bordeaux and Barcelona. However, the Catalans have got their man on a five-year contract and are expected to officially unveil the young Brazilan on Wednesday.
Uncapped at international level and playing only two seasons of European football in France's Ligue 1, Malcom is far from a household name. However, the pacy winger possesses many qualities which can fit right in with Ernesto Valverde's plan at Barcelona.
Having come through the youth system at Corinthians in Brazil, Malcom became a regular for the Brazilian club throughout the 2015 season. His performances caught the eye of Bordeaux, who snapped him up for an undisclosed fee in January 2016. He went on to play 84 times for the French side, scoring 20 goals in the process.
Malcom's speed is his greatest strength with his pace terrifying defences in Ligue 1 over the past two seasons. A skilful attacking player, the Brazilian boasts excellent ball control and has a keen eye for spotting key passes and through balls.
The 21-year-old also knows how to take set-pieces and was Bordeaux's main freekick taker during his time at the club. In a similar mould to Coutinho, Malcom also boasts an extraordinary shot from distance, scoring multiple times from outside the box over the last two seasons.
Still learning his trade, Malcom struggles to assist with defensive duties and can often play quite selfishly, holding onto the ball for longer than necessary. He loves to take on defenders but tends to lose the ball more often than getting past his man. Standing at just 1.71 meters, the small Brazilian also struggles to compete in aerial duels.
Primarily deployed as a right winger at Bordeaux, Malcom can comfortably play anywhere across the attacking line. His blistering pace and close ball control make him an ideal wide player. He loves to cut inside and whip crosses into the box or play nifty through balls for the main striker.
How he can fit into Valverde's system
This is difficult to consider as he is unlikely to walk straight into the first team. Valverde will likely revert to a 4-3-3 system this season with Messi, Coutinho, and Suarez taking up the front three positions.
Malcom has probably been purchased to compete with Ousmane Dembele for the right to play as the primary backup to this attacking three. He will expect to come on as an impact substitute during La Liga matches and will probably get his chance to shine as a starter in Copa del Rey encounters.
However, with Messi on the wrong side of the 30s, Valverde has possibly looked at Malcom as a long-term replacement for the Argentine and will hope he can play more significant roles at the Nou Camp over the next few seasons.
Stay tuned to Sportskeeda for all latest FC Barcelona transfer news & rumors.Published 25 Jul 2018, 07:37 IST