History is the ultimate evidence that South Americans entering the Camp Nou family have enjoyed successful tenures, some reaching such heights that they ended up defining the sport itself.
Aside from a few unsuccessful signings, Barca has been a haven for South American flair and one such player entering the fray is Colombian centre-back right outta Palmeiras- Yerry Mina.
A bargain signing (although he was available at a cut-price deal earlier), he has slotted in as an able back-up to Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti and will hopefully provide more competition for the centre-back position. He has been a regular player for the national team and is with James Rodriguez and Co. in Russia for the World Cup finals. Let’s look at his profile and form for Barcelona:
Performances since January 2018
Yerry Mina joined Barcelona in January making him the third South American transfer of the season, with Philippe Coutinho and Paulinho have joined earlier. So far, he has played five matches for the club, debuting in a Copa del Rey semi-final against Valencia, replacing Pique in the 83rd minute. He made his official home debut in a 0-0 draw against Getafe, earning brownie points for his flair as a centre-back. He went on to feature for Colombia, partnering fellow Colombian and Spurs new recruit Davinson Sanchez for a few international friendlies, guiding them to a nail biting 2-3 win against France. So far, so good.
His journey has been turbulent thereafter with a string of average performances recorded so far, notably the one against Celta Vigo and Levante, the two matches resulting in a draw and defeat respectively. He has made only one contribution to the attacking department so far, an assist to Ousmane Dembele in a comprehensive 5-1 victory against Villarreal.
Style of play
There is no denying that he is a star waiting to make his mark in the book of greats. His style oozes Brazilian samba and Colombian freedom, the way he passes the ball is phenomenal. He was a rockstar for Santa Fe during the beginning of his career, earning plaudits for his relaxed manner of playing the ball. The match against Getafe was by far his best one as he showed his immense prowess distributing the ball.
Mina has a tall, lanky body frame which has given him an extra penchant for goals via set pieces. He is rightfully an indirect set-piece threat and while that hasn’t happened for Barcelona (yet), Palmeiras and Santa Fe have enjoyed this ability. Apart from that, he is a cultured centre-back who loves to be a in set-up that starts the attacking build-up right from the defence, maybe that’s what compelled the club to sign him. He possesses good dribbling skills as well.
Defensively, he likes to take on strikers and terrorise opponents and has indeed done so with his previous teams, winning the Copa Sudamericana and the Brasileirao with them. He has defensively been a bit shaky for Barcelona, committing a few but costly errors. The away league match against Levante was a horror show as Barca went on to concede five goals, the most by them in recent history.
Barcelona have signed Yerry Mina in a time where they are facing a lot of flak regarding their transfer policy, hence the added pressure. It’s a worst kept secret that the team needs a good centre-back and Yerry Mina has the potential but needs time to nurture and develop the Barca way. He can edge past Thomas Vermaelen in the pecking order easily in a few months’ time and provide stiff competition. With the club linked with top class centre-backs all over the market, it’s high time. He has to perform and the World Cup is perhaps his only way to secure his place in the squad for next season. If Colombia fail to progress past the group stages, his position as a Barca player might be in jeopardy. A loan move to an English club has been speculated, but nothing has been finalized.
Mina is a good player with great potential but can lose focus, he is an enigmatic and dynamic centre-back who needs more time to prove himself at the Camp Nou. Will he be at Barca next season - it’s time to have your say!
What should Barcelona do with Yerry Mina
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