Barcelona Reportedly in Pursuit of Sevilla Defender Clement Lenglet
Barcelona have “already made moves” toward the signing of Sevilla defender Clement Lenglet, according to Catalan outlet Sport (h/t Sport Witness).
The Blaugrana want to sign the 22-year-old because of doubts relating to 32-year-old Thomas Vermaelen and Yerry Mina, who “just hasn’t convinced” since his arrival in January, although they face competition from Real Madrid and a number of unnamed Premier League clubs for his signature.
Lenglet is said to be “affordable for now,” despite discrepancies in the reporting of his buyout clause, which has been listed by some as being €30 million and others as €45 million.
The ageing Vermaelen is still yet to reach 40 matches for Barcelona since arriving in 2014, owing to his disastrous injury record, while 23-year-old Mina has made just two appearances since he joined—one of which was a seven-minute cameo—so it’s clear Barca could use a quality alternative to Samuel Umtiti and Gerard Pique.
Lenglet has quickly become a key player for Sevilla since his arrival in January last year, and he has started 46 matches for them this season.
ESPN UK’s David Cartlidge and Joe Krishnan of the Evening Standard singled him out for praise when Sevilla knocked Manchester United out of the UEFA Champions League in March:
Joe Krishnan @joekrishnan
@davidjaca Langlet MOTM for me. Didn’t give Lukaku an inch and made several brace blocks. Really stepped up in the 2nd half, as did Sarabia and Banega.
The Frenchman excels at distributing the ball out from the back, but he’s an assured presence in defensive situations and a robust ball-winner when he needs to be.
According to Squawka, he has picked out a team-mate with 84 per cent of his passes in La Liga this season and completed 12 of his 14 attempted take-ons. He has also won 48 tackles and 58 headed duels, as well as making 132 clearances, 25 blocks and 32 interceptions.
Lenglet can contribute going forward in more ways than one, as not only can he start attacks with his passing but also finish them, having netted four times in all competitions.
He has picked up 12 yellow cards, though, and football writer Simon Harrison took issue with his discipline:
Simon Harrison @simonhfootball
@aldosainati Lenglet is a mixed bag. Really can be rash and a bit of a yellow card magnet. Sevilla’s CBs tend to get exposed and shown up for pace, but this issue was more prevalent under Berizzo. Still, I think he could be a decent player in a system that protects him a little better.
Lenglet still has the potential to be an excellent player, particularly if he can eradicate the flaws in his game with more experience.
His technical ability would make him well-suited to life at the Camp Nou, too, so it would not be surprising if they do manage to swoop in before Sevilla can tie him down on a new deal and a larger buyout clause.
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April 16, 2018 at 04:41AM