It's official, Barcelona have signed Lucas Digne from PSG for 16.5 million euros plus another possible four million. The left-back will be Jordi Alba's understudy, relieving Adriano and Jérémy Mathieu from that spot. (Surely, at least?)
Some may grumble about the price or say they preferred someone else. Others may be quite happy. Still others will be on the fence. Regardless, this signing, along with the purchases of Samuel Umtiti from Lyon and Denis Suárez from Villarreal, signals a shift in strategy.
Barcelona are finally buying young. All three are 22 years old and on their way up.
Last window, Barcelona bought 25-year-old Aleix Vidal and 28-year-old Arda Turan. They flirted heavily with buying 29-year-old Nolito. And before that, though they did get Marc-André ter Stegen who was 22, the rest of the signings trended a bit older. Ivan Rakitić was 26, Luis Suárez 27, Thomas Vermaelen 28, Mathieu 30, and Claudio Bravo 31.
Barcelona haven't signed a young defender of note since bringing in 23-year-old Jordi Alba in 2012, and haven't signed a young central defender since ... Dmytro Chygrynskiy in 2009? Whom they sold back a year later? Wow.
Of course, youth is not the only thing that matters and all 3 new players must prove themselves. But hey, at least they have time to improve.