If all of the rumours are true, then Leganes centre-forward, Martin Braithwaite, will shortly become FC Barcelona’s new striker signing.
It’s a deal that’s come out of nowhere, and there can’t have been too many like it. The reigning champions of the Spanish top flight signing a player from a club who are battling relegation.
Braithwaite’s goals to games ratio isn’t great either, but there is some sense to his hire nonetheless.In a struggling Leganes side, the Dane has always looked a threat. He’s a real handful for defenders and might be termed an ‘old school’ centre-forward.
He isn’t frightened to go in where it hurts, and he works incredibly hard for the team.
One goal in every four games certainly isn’t Barcelona quality, but with the amount of chances the likes of Lionel Messi would create for him, it would surely follow that those totals would increase.
In some respects, he’s Suarez-esque in the way that he plays the game, and perhaps that’s what Barca are looking for from him.
To disrupt the opposition back line, put himself about a bit, and give defenders something other than Messi to think about.
Of course, the real issue will be how quickly he can dovetail into a set-up that he’s never been used to.
As an emergency signing, he will be expected to hit the ground running and deliver.
From a positive point of view for the blaugrana, he has the requisite La Liga experience. It’s just a question of developing his skill set quickly, and so it is complimentary to what Barca already have in situ.
There will be many Barcelona supporters suggesting that Braithwaite is nothing like the type of player that they should be signing and that the club, as a result, will become a laughing stock.
It’s worth pointing out that they’re probably the same type of supporters that said exactly the same about Paulinho and Arturo Vidal, and those two players didn’t and haven’t done too badly.
He needs to be judged on what he does, not on what he has done to this point.
For a reported €18-20m outlay, it’s hardly breaking the bank for the Catalans either, so if the Dane comes up with the goods and helps the team to silverware, it will be money very well spent indeed.
Should things not go as planned, the Barca board can at least be comfortable in the knowledge that they scoured the market for value and availability, and got the best player that fitted that criteria at the time of purchase.
Let’s see what happens…