Barcelona Confirm Junior Firpo Signing on 5-Year Contract

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2019

SEVILLE, SPAIN - DECEMBER 02: Junior Firpo of Real Betis celebrates scoring his team's opening goal during the La Liga match between Real Betis Balompie and Real Sociedad at Estadio Benito Villamarin on December 02, 2018 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona confirmed on Sunday that they have completed the signing of Junior Firpo from Real Betis.

The news was relayed on the club's Twitter account, with the 22-year-old signing a five-year contract:

In a statement on their website, Barcelona confirmed they will pay €18 million initially for the Spain youth international, as well as a possible €12 million in add-ons.

Barcelona also noted their new signing has a €200 million release clause in his contract at the Camp Nou and posted the following clip: 

Firpo burst into the Real Betis first team at the end of the 2017-18 campaign before cementing his place as a regular in the previous term.

In the main, he functioned as a wing-back on the left flank, with Betis often operating with a three-man defence. The position sated Firpo's obvious attacking appetite, as his vertical forays became a trademark of the team's play when they did venture forward.

Firpo has huge energy reserves and always looks to be positive when he's in possession of the ball. The threat he can provide from wide areas is likely what's attracted Barcelona into making a move for him.

OptaJose noted how much Firpo gets into the opposition box: 

Spanish football journalist David Cartlidge offered his assessment of the signing: 

While he has showcased his best form as a wing-back last season, it's anticipated Firpo will be used as a left-back in 2019-20, providing cover and competition for Jordi Alba.

Alba remains one of the best left-backs in the game, and he will take some dislodging from that position. Last term, Barcelona didn't have a natural replacement for him, and it meant manager Ernesto Valverde didn't have an opportunity to rest the Spain star at crucial points in the season.

Firpo should give him that luxury. While the youngster will likely feature in lesser La Liga games and cup competitions to begin with, in the long term he will hope to nail down a first-team spot and become the eventual successor to Alba.

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