FC Barcelona moved quickly and snapped up Jeison Murillo on loan from Valencia.
The team was with only two fit CBs before, with Samuel Umtiti still out and the injury-prone Thomas Vermaelen back on the treatment table.
Umtiti may require surgery and his return date is unclear. Vermaelen could be back come the New Year, but how long would he stay fit?
That’s two defenders with big question marks as to availability, and only Gerard Piqué and Clément Lenglet are really to be counted on now.
There’s a concern about not letting B team players, specifically Chumi, take up the spots in the senior team. The issue is that with both Vermaelen and Umtiti out, the team would need to rely on two B team players becoming part of the regular rotation.
With Murillo, the team has one more senior defender to bridge the gap. Chumi or another youngster can still get chances as the fourth CB. In any case, he can still progress with the B team.
Murillo comes at a minimal cost and is already acclimated to La Liga. He was, according to some, Valencia’s beat defender during their super run last season. But a rumored falling out with the coach, Marcelino, has made him play only rarely this term.
Valencia’s loss could be Barça’s gain. The team was rumored to be weighing up options of serveral older players such as Brainslav Ivanović and Martin Skrtel. Instead, they got a player who should be in his prime now.
Chumi or another player can still get chances, and make their case. For the moment, Barcelona can plug the short-term hole in the squad.