Strength, style, flair and dance moves.
That would be the easiest way to describe the talented Barcelona acquisition, Yerry Mina. The Catalans have been following the gifted Colombian defender for quite some time and this week it has been officially confirmed that Palmeiras centre-back will be moving to Camp Nou after the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The fee around £8 million has been agreed between two clubs but the talented defender will remain with his club until the end of Palmeiras’ Copa Libertadores campaign.
But who is Yerry Mina?
Simply put – the end of Barcelona’s defensive struggles. Hopefully. It is safe to say that Barcelona have been struggling in defensive department for quite some time.
Ever since the legendary Spanish defender Carles Puyol decided to hang up his boots, the Catalan giants have been struggling to secure consistency in their backline with Gerard Pique being the only standard first-choice defender under Pep Guardiola, Luis Enrique and Ernesto Valverde.
The latter seems to be preferring Pique and Umtiti as his centre-back pair in front of Javier Mascherano, whereas the arrival of Yerry Mina could cause the shift of balance since the Colombian defender plans to dance his way into the Barcelona team and thus materialize his Barcelona dream.
The highly-rated Palmeiras defender never hid his desire to join the Catalan side and even went on to reject a proposed move to Manchester City in order to wait for Blaugrana to make an official approach.
Why is he so special?
Pushing forward with now Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus, the latest Barcelona acquisition made quite a name for himself in 2016 when Palmeiras finished the season winning the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A for the first time since 1994.
Yerry Mina was voted the best defender in the Brazilian top-flight immediately gaining wider recognition. The clubs flocked to see him in action with scouts of Europe’s biggest clubs returning home with their notebooks filled with words of praise for the young Colombian.
Despite his tender age of 22, Yerry Mina is characterized by power and athleticism which work well in his favour with tackles and one-on-ones with opposition strikers. Mina has impressive positional awareness and is extremely confident and comfortable with the ball at his feet.
Standing tall at 1m 95cm, Yerry Mina is a huge aerial presence – both in front of his own goal and the rivalling one. His best trait of them all, however, is scoring goals. Yerry Mina has thus far bagged 20 goals in his short professional career which makes him a fantastic asset at both ends of the pitch.
He most certainly knows how to celebrate them as well, since Mina’s dance moves are something professionals from the dancing world would applaud.
Any weaknesses to account for?
Yerry Mina will most certainly need some adapting to the La Liga once he moves to Spain.
A young Colombian will feel the heat from the start and although Barcelona remain his biggest dream, he needs to be careful to show dedication and commitment in order to realize his undeniable potential.
That said, the mental aspect of the move abroad is always a factor to account for as it has been known to create plenty of problems especially to young players such as Mina.
When it comes to his style of play, one area that needs improvement is the time on the ball. Being so comfortable with it at his feet, Yerry Mina would often help start attacks from deep behind, the same way Gerrard Pique does at Barcelona. Mina’s style of play makes him a perfect fit for Barcelona but his proclivity for dallying on the ball is something that he could work on.
The new Barcelona boy, however, has all of the attributes to succeed at the highest level. He has outgrown Palmeiras and the Brazilian football in general but will for now use his time to further develop his play and follow his new team attempting to restore its domestic and international dominance.
Barcelona begin their European campaign on Tuesday night with a high-profile Champions League opener against Juventus and you can find them at 8/13 betting odds to win at Camp Nou.
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