Barcelona's newest addition - who is Yerry Mina?
A player signed by FC Barcelona is usually an already well-known talent. On some occasions, however, the world's biggest clubs snap up the unknown. Fans outside Brazil or South America may not know Barca's latest signing. So who is Yerry Mina and why have the Spanish giants parted with around £11 million to secure his services?
Named Yerry Fernando Mina Gonzalez, the 23-year-old was born in Guachene, Colombia. He was a youth prospect in his home country for Deportivo Pasto. His first professional season in 2013 ended with 14 league appearances and one goal.
Mina's style of play involves a keen urgency to tackle, ability to make short passes as well as possessing good dribbling skills. He is strong in aerial duels due to his 6''5' frame, which he uses to his advantage. The centre-back is also known to block shots, making him a do-or-die defender who puts his body on the line when needed
In December 2013, Mina moved to Colombian heavyweights Independiente Santa Fe. He lasted two-and-a-half seasons with the club. The towering centre-back made 67 league appearances, scoring seven times. He also helped Santa Fe win the 2015 Superliga Colombiana by scoring in the finals.
His next move in 2016 was a big one. Brazil came calling, with Palmeiras the interested party. Signing a five-year contract, the youngster knew this step could make or break his career.
Mina flourished. He ended the season with 28 appearances, six goals, and more importantly, the league title. It was the first time Palmeiras had won the Brazilian Serie A crown in 22 years.
Mina's success drew the attention of La Liga leaders Barcelona. Due to having time remaining on his contract, though, an extra fee had to be agreed.
Mina signed for Barcelona on the 11th January 2018. He is yet to make his debut. After signing a five-and-a-half-year deal with the Catalan club, he needs easing into the side.
Mina's release clause at Barca is set at £88 million. His potential is high, yet he has plenty to prove at his new club. Working his way into the first-team is the long-term plan, but earning playing time will be his main focus for now.
After making his international debut in 2016, Mina has since earned a further eight caps with Colombia. He scored three times during that time. His first was against Uruguay in a 2-2 draw during the 2018 World Cup qualification stage. The second and third came in a 4-0 friendly win against Cameroon in June last year. Showing his qualities at international level helped persuade Barcelona to sign him. The scouts saw great potential and knew they could mould the young defender into a top-class player.
Has a Colombian ever played for Barcelona? The answer is no. Yerry Mina, therefore, has already made history at the Nou Camp without playing a game.
Becoming the first Colombian to sign for the Catalan giants gives Mina added incentive to forge a successful career in Spain. At only 23-years-old, he has an unbelievable amount of potential, which could make him Barca's next big star.