Transfer Analysis: Barcelona's new signing, Clement Lenglet
Lenglet began his career with Nancy in Ligue 2. He helped the Thistles win the second-division title in 2015/16, making 34 appearances. The next season, he made 18 Ligue 1 appearances for Nancy before joining Sevilla in January 2017.
The French international fit in perfectly in Spain. He made his league debut versus Real Madrid in a 2-1 win at the Sanchez Pizjuan, providing robustness at the back. The team had 19 clean sheets in his first half-season. His performance across both the legs in the Champions League Round of 16 against Manchester United was exceptional, alerting several Italian and English clubs, although nothing came of it.
In 2017/18, Lenglet made 54 appearances, gaining a reputation as a top prospect. Barcelona were rumoured to have captured Lenglet in January but weren't able. Sevilla have earned a healthy profit from the transaction, enabling them to invest in midfield improvements.
Style of play
Lenglet is a classic ball-player, very similar to his international compatriot Aymeric Laporte.
With a 90% passing accuracy, the former Nancy defender likes to play short passes. He tends to carry the ball forward and attempt a pass to the midfielder or a long ball to any of the forwards. His passing also helps to nullify the press initiated by the opposition. Lenglet rarely loses possession. He is left-footed and can also play as a left-back as he used in his academy days in France.
Lenglet's concentration level is very high; he reads the game neatly. His anticipation is spectacular which allows him to stop attacks and start counters. Standing at 6'1", Clement is also an aerial force, something Barcelona lack.
Discipline is a weakness. Lenglet commits a higher rate of fouls than Sergio Ramos. He is tackling is loose and he could stand to develop his right foot. There is much work ahead for the Frenchman to become a starter.
Where would he fit at Barcelona?
The 23-year-old is an interesting acquisition for the Catalan club. Potentially, he could replace Gerard Pique.
Samuel Umtiti established himself as the first-choice option alongside Pique last season. Mr Shakira is 31 and cannot afford to feature week in, week out. In the coming seasons, he may leave the Camp Nou.
When Umtiti was injured mid-season, Thomas Vermaelen proved his class. Yerry Mina also signed during the winter transfer window. The Colombian defender has already hinted at a Barcelona exit after an excellent World Cup campaign.
Even so, Ernesto Valverde now has five centre-back options, Lenglet being the last option. At least he shouldn't worry about Mattijs de Ligt joining.
Lenglet is young and needs game time to develop, which is not guaranteed. If Mina leaves, then it will become easier for the French defender to find minutes. He could force Valverde to reconsider his first-choice options.