This January transfer window, Barcelona announced the signing of Jean-Clair Todibo, who will arrive at the Camp Nou on a free transfer over the summer. Todibo, a French national is only 19 and has been climbing the ladder in France.
Agreement with Jean-Clair Todibo (@jctodibo) for him to join the Club next season. https://t.co/L1Ejgvhg1f— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 8, 2019
A center-back who can also play in the midfield, Todibo has steadily risen from FC Les Lila 93, to Toulouse’s B team, and then to the first squad. So, knowing that, what are some of his strengths and what has the Barcelona board seen to bring him in?
From records of Todibo’s appearances throughout his youth academy and professional career, people have spoken of his unmatched desire to win. With an innate feeling to get wins, especially at such a young age, Barcelona are hoping to mould him into a center-back for the future. Gerard Pique is ageing, Clement Lenglet is not yet elite quality (as he has shown multiple times this year), and Yerry Mina was let go for a quick profit. Todibo has the time and desire to fit in at the Nou Camp and become a mainstay just like Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique, and Dani Alves.
Jean-Clair Todibo: Only Evan Ndicka (76) has made more clearances than Todibo (62) of teenagers in Europe's top five leagues this season— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) January 8, 2019
For more player stats -- https://t.co/L6FEqPctEC pic.twitter.com/73HJScgEzP
With Samuel Umtiti recovering from injury problems for most of the year, it is easy to forget about the talent that hasn’t seen the pitch much this campaign. Upon his return, Umtiti will be in a position to provide a comfort for his young countryman, and no doubt Barcelona are hoping to establish a young center-back pairing for the future.
Unknown to most, Todibo has only played ten professional games in his career and has been relegated to the reserves at Toulouse since November, due to a contractual dispute with the club (Todibo would not sign a new deal).
Being such a raw talent, Ernesto Valverde will be wise to treat the young center-back carefully when he first arrives. As we have seen in recent years with younger signings, sometimes the lights of the Camp Nou overwhelm footballers – both on the pitch and off it.
Todibo has the technical ability to transform the Barcelona backline over the next couple of years, but given his inexperience and young age, must be ushered in gracefully with expectations low. The board has made an investment in a player that mustn’t be great now, but hopefully can be in the coming years. Whether or not it is a wise choice remains to be seen, the Barcelona board has made short-sighted decisions before. Visca Barca.