We are like an hour and a half from match time as I write this so I’m gonna burn through this a little quicker than I normally do. Multiple outlets through Spain are reporting that youngster Jorge Cuenca from Barcelona B is set to join Villarreal on a purchase with a buyback option. Cuenca is a talented young center back but there are a LOT of red flags about this deal.
First, the buyback clause makes it unlikely that we will be able to keep him long term. Examples like Gerard Deulofeu at Everton have shown that Barca is willing to buy a young player back just so that they can make more profit on a second transfer away either even when a player is clearly not in the first team plans.
Second, Cuenca struggled with injuries last year, breaking his foot and missing three months then getting an abductor problem right at the time of year where he was supposed to get chances with the first team in their ultimately ill-fated European Cup run.
Third, the player has basically no first team experience. While he has played for Spain’s U19 and U21 sides and thus is clearly very talented, he has about an hour’s worth of first team play in his life, and that was against a lower division side in the Copa Del Rey.
Fourth, Cuenca is, from what I can tell, a left sided center back. This means that in order to rest Raul Albiol either we have to move Pau to the right or we have to let the kid learn a new side of defense. Not the biggest deal in the world but alongside these other concerns, well..
We’ll see how this one goes. I’m glad we are investing in a CB, but ultimately I just don’t love this deal. Hopefully the kid’s talent shines through all the question marks and he can contribute for us at a high level this season.