Well, we’ve been calling for a CB signing for weeks and it has happened (sort of). As Barcelona desperately look to clear out talent so that they have the financial wiggle room to make signings, big names like Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, and Arturo Vidal have all left the club, while the futures of those like Riqui Puig and Lionel Messi have been in doubt. Keeping with a trend of recent years, they have now sold yet another budding talent- this time time Jorge Cuenca- and this time to Unai Emery’s Villarreal. The fee is 2.5m with another 4m in variables. Barcelona have a 20% sell on clause.
If you want a breakdown on the player and any potential concerns about him, see the ‘related’ tab above. Please note that the player has immediately been loaned to UD Almeria, where he will play in the Segunda Division this season. What I want to show you is something that I don’t think happens that often. Apparently, despite being in La Masia, Jorge Cuenca has been a Villarreal fan for while:
- "Jorge, are you happy to sign for Villarreal?"— Villarreal CF English (@Eng_Villarreal) September 22, 2020
- "Am I happy? Just look at these photos"
In the link found in that tweet, you can even see a phone cover he has with a Villarreal crest and his name on it. Apparently, the way the story goes, his father was a futsal player whose team wore yellow. His young son wanted a yellow kit to cheer his father on in, and so a Villarreal kit it was. To make most of us feel old, this was in the early 2000s (Cuenca was born in 1999) so it would have been just as we were coming to initial prominence. The affinity for the color and the crest stuck, and we had ourselves a fan.
I’m excited to have a new CB. I think bringing in a young player here (on a five year deal) in addition to the seven year deal we have for Estupinan at LB brings a certain balance to our transfer window where the focus is both on succeeding now and on having young talent for the future. Cuenca will hopefully be the natural successor of Raul Albiol in the next few years. Barcelona does reserve a buyback in this deal. I’m not sure at this juncture what that number is, but if I come across it I’ll be sure to drop it in a comment section somewhere. We still need a first team CB, but as far as I’m concerned we can fill that role with a veteran now that we have a young player ready for the future.
Editor’s Note: the original version of this article was under the mistaken impression that Jorge would be with the first team this year, mostly because it was written within 15 minutes of its author waking up. My apologies, things have been fixed now.