Barcelona have completed the signing of Valencia defender Jeremy Mathieu for £15.6m. The 30-year-old joins in a four–year deal with the option of an extra year.
After weeks of speculation the deal has finally gone through to bring Jeremy Mathieu from Valencia to the Nou Camp. The defender was converted from his usual left back role to centre half and he earned rave reviews for his displays.
The following statement appeared on the official website for the Catalan club.
“Barcelona and Valencia have reached an agreement for the transfer of the French player Jeremy Mathieu.
Jeremy Mathieu will sign a contract with Barcelona for the next four seasons plus an optional season more.
The cost of the transfer is €20 million and the buyout clause will be €50m.”
The 30-year-old is a physically imposing centre half and stands at 192cm tall. He also possesses a rather surprising turn of pace and is very comfortable in possession, having played at left back for the majority of his career.
Former Barcelona defender Rafael Marquez has expressed doubts that the French player has the quality to play at the Nou Camp.In an interview with RAC1, the former Barcelona star said the following,
“I don’t think he has the profile to play for Barcelona and even less so for this price.
Hopefully they’ll think well about this and if they’re going to splash out like that, it’s for someone who is actually worthwhile.”
Followers of Spanish football would disagree with this assessment. Mathieu was one of Valencia’s most impressive performers last year displaying the pace that Barcelona need at the centre of their defence and an ability to play the ball out at the back. These attributes that will suit a Barcelona team that likes to play a high line.
Mathieu started his career at FC Sochaux spending three seasons at the Ligue 1 club. He made a total of 108 appearances scoring 14 goals. The defender then moved to Toulouse in 2005 and spent the next 4 seasons at the club, making 122 appearances scoring 5 goals.
Valencia then signed the left back in 2009 and he enjoyed a successful few seasons playing at left back or left midfield where he rotated position with current Barcelona left back Jordi Alba.
Jeremy Mathieu may not be the most high-profile signing that Barcelona have made but he may prove to be a very important one, adding the pace and physical presence that is much needed at the heart of the Barcelona defence.
Dan Dalton, Pundit Arena.