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Jeison Murillo Talks 'Dream' Loan Move to Barcelona from Valencia

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistDecember 21, 2018

VALENCIA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 26:  Jeison Murillo of Valencia reacts during the La Liga match between Valencia CF and RC Celta de Vigo at Estadio Mestalla on September 26, 2018 in Valencia, Spain.  (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Jeison Murillo has said joining Barcelona is a "dream" move for him and outlined that his pace and intelligence should make him an asset at the Camp Nou.

The centre-back's loan agreement from Valencia was confirmed on Thursday in a deal that could become permanent for €25 million (£22.6 million) at the end of the season.

He has only made one appearance on La Liga this season and is relishing the opportunity presented to him, per Juan Jimenez of AS:

"There is a lot of emotion, I'm very happy. Now all that remains is to work, do everything as best I can and demonstrate why I am here. A few years ago I was at Las Palmas and I came here [to the Camp Nou], and I told someone that I would return and wear the home shirt. 

"Today I have fulfilled that dream. I hope to help the team and to be available for the coaching staff, and enjoy being at the best club in the world. I am so happy, and I hope that everything goes well. I am a fast and intelligent player, with good feet and aggression."

As Spanish football writer David Cartlidge explained, Murillo's lack of game time for Valencia this season was more to do with a poor relationship with manager Marcelino than a lack of ability.

David Cartlidge @davidjaca

The Marcelino situation happened out of nowhere. Murillo just suddenly fell out of favour, but at no point did his level drop. Injuries, general lack of fitness crept in and things never picked up again.

He should be a useful addition to the squad for Barca manager Ernesto Valverde, who has endured defensive difficulties this term.

Samuel Umtiti has made just one appearance since September because of a knee injury, and it is still unclear when he will return to full fitness.

Meanwhile, Thomas Vermaelen has also continued to be plagued by fitness issues.

As a result, 23-year-old summer signing Clement Lenglet has been Gerard Pique's most regular centre-back partner this term, a scenario Valverde would likely have wanted to avoid.

Murillo's addition should help to ease the burden on Pique and Lenglet in the second half of the season.

He is an experienced operator who boasts good technical skills and pace, and he has 27 international caps for Colombia.

Murillo will be eligible to play for Barcelona as soon as the January transfer window opens, and he is clearly excited about the prospect of pulling on the Blaugrana shirt. 

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