Jean-Clair Todibo’s Barcelona adventure hasn’t really panned out the way he probably imagined it when he signed for the Catalan giants.
The Champions League clash against Inter Milan on the last matchday of the group stage was only Todibo’s third game of the 2019/20 season and his fifth for the Blaugrana overall.
Needless to say, the 167 minutes he has managed to accumulate is not really a big figure for a 19-year-old talent who needs game time in order to improve.
And of course, it hasn’t taken long for him to get linked with a move away from the Catalan capital.
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Just recently, ESPN stated that Southampton, Watford, Bayer Leverkusen and AC Milan are interested in the defender and seeing how his fortune is unlikely to turn at Barcelona, the Saints just might have a shot at this one.
Despite his low game time, Todibo is still very much a top talent and to prove that, we sought the opinions of those who know him best.
Here’s what they had to say…
Even though he rarely decides to give Todibo a shot, Valverde still seems to believe his fringe player is actually quite talented and could go on to have a great future.
Just recently, during the pre-game press conference ahead of Barcelona’s clash with Eibar in La Liga, the Basque manager praised the 19-year-old centre-back, saying that he has the qualities to succeed.
Here’s what he said in full, as per quotes by Tribuna:
“Great player, with a future ahead and with physical qualities. It’s difficult to play for Barca but he’s learning fast.”
Les Lilas are a French amateur club and Todibo’s first big steps on the road to becoming a professional football player started exactly in that team.
Of course, even back then when he was an unknown youngster trying to make his name and emerge from his cocoon, Coton-Pelagie, their sporting director, knew the club had a big talent.
Here’s what he said on Todibo, as per ESPN’s quotes:
“Les Lilas are a family club, and Jean-Clair was part of our family. We saw him grow, develop, mature and become stronger and stronger. He was always very determined, driven and ambitious.
“But he was a local kid from the next town over, Bagnolet, very respectful and hard-working. He was talented, but he worked so much to become better and to make it to the top.”
Garcia currently plays his football at Sporting Gijon but he used to grace the pitches with Todibo back when they were teammates at Toulouse.
When talking to Radio Marca, the 21-year-old paid the defender a huge compliment by stating that he shares some similar characteristics with Raphael Varane, the current Real Madrid centre-back and a big star in his own right.
Here’s what he said in full, as quoted by Sport:
“Todibo is a great player. Similar to Varane? As footballers we don’t like it when we’re compared with other players, but it’s true that they have similar characteristics.”
Even though he is not really the first name on Valverde’s team sheet, Todibo is still very much a player for the future.
If Southampton can really get their hands on him, it could prove to be a major scoop.