Why are Barcelona signing Clement Lenglet?

The signing of the French centre was viewed as a priority by Ernesto Valverde, Éric Abidal and Pep Segura

Lenglet comenzó la remontada en el Estadio de La Cerámica | LALIGA

Juan Manuel Díaz

Barcelona have reached an agreement with Sevilla to pay Clement Lenglet's buyout clause, which is around €35m, to reinforce their defence ahead of the 2018/19 season. This is a signing the team needs.

Lenglet will be the first new face through the door at Barcelona this summer as Ernesto Valverde looks to create a more competitive squad for the upcoming campaign. The first eleven is of the highest quality but Valverde wants the 'B' team to improve in order for the squad to fight on all fronts. This will allow him to rest certain players, share the minutes out more evenly and keep Barcelona at their optimum level for longer.

In the first meetings between Eric Abidal, Ramon Planes and Pep Segura they looked at what the Barcelona squad needed for next season. They came up with a shortlist: two central midfielders, a striker and a centre back. That centre back is Lenglet. The recently turned 23-year-old ticks all the boxes that Barcelona are looking for: high potential, experience at the top level and capable of adapting to Barça's style.

Lenlet arrived at Sevilla from Nancy in January 2017. In the recent 2017/18 season he played 54 matches, scored four goals and made one assist. This is where he showed that he's positionally sound, comfortable on the ball and reads the play well, all characteristics which are fundamental in a centre back at Barcelona.

NeEDED

Barcelona have a first choice defensive pairing in Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti but it's behind them where the problems lie. Valverde isn't convinced by Yerry Mina, who will leave the club on loan or a permanent deal after the World Cup, and Thomas Vermaelen, while no one doubts his quality is approaching the end of his career and has fitness issues.

After sealing Umtiti's renewal, Barcelona wanted to reinforce that position in the squad with a third centre back of similar quality to the main two. Lenglet's five year deal covers that requirement.

Lenglet's clause, which stands at €35m, is a reasonable price when you consider how market value counts for little in the current climate of football transfers. Barcelona have even managed to reach an agreement with Sevilla, not going through LaLiga itself, in order to maintain a good relationship with those at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

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