Barcelona have announced the signing of defender Jean-Clair Todibo from Toulouse on a free transfer.
Todibo, 19, will join Barcelona at the end of the season when his contract with Toulouse runs out.
Who is Barcelona’s newest signing? Five key things to know…
- Todibo only made his Toulouse debut at the beginning of the 2018/19 season.
- A centre-back, the 19-year-old has started 10 times in total for Toulouse.
- But, the French club allowed his contract to run down, giving Barcelona the chance to swoop in.
- Todibo will join Barcelona before the start of next season and has spoke of his excitement about the new step in his career.
- His career nearly never started after being hit by a car at the age of nine.
Barcelona lead the way at the top of La Liga, five points clear of Atletico Madrid in second, but have shown some weaknesses defensively.
Ernesto Valverde’s men have conceded 20 goals in 18 games, just nine fewer than they conceded in the entirety of last season.
And the club have now confirmed they are building for the future with the signing of Todibo.
Moments after his pending move to Barcelona was confirmed, Todibo spoke of his determination to achieve greatness with the Catalan club.
In a message to his Twitter followers, Todibo wrote: “I am very happy to be joining FC Barcelona in July 2019.
“It is more than a club and I thank them for their confidence. It will be a new stage in my young career and I will put all my determination to achieve great things.
“In the meantime, I remain a Toulouse FC player and I am available to help my team-mates as long as I remain under contract.
“Le Tef allowed me to grow and discover the Ligue 1 and I will be eternally grateful to them. Thank you.”
Who is Jean-Clair Todibo?
Todibo joined Toulouse in 2016 from amateur side FC Les Lilas, but his career nearly never started having being hit by a car at the age of nine.
Speaking to La Depeche, as reported by Goal, Todibo recalled the accident: “It was May 24, I was nine at the time.
“I was leaving my house to go to judo, I crossed the road and a car knocked me down. It turned into a big accident.
“I had an injury on both my leg bones and down to the ankle, and there were several fractures.”
Despite his coach at the time fearing he would never play football again, Todibo made his professional debut this season.
Starting in Toulouse’ 2-1 win over Bordeaux in just the second game of the season, Todibo played three games in a row before a red card against Guingamp brought his run to an end.
But the centre-back returned to the starting XI immediately with appearances in the next seven games, though Toulouse’s form dipped.
The 19-year-old has not featured for Toulouse since the start of November, but that did not quell the interest from Barcelona who reportedly beat off interest from Manchester City and Juventus for the highly sought-after defender.
In their announcement of the signing, Barcelona’s official website described Todibo as a tall, right-footed defender who can play at centre-back and also in midfield.
Todibo has won 2.7 aerial duels per 90 minutes in Ligue 1 this season, but his standout stat comes in the tackle. The defender has won 21 of his 23 attempted tackles in Ligue 1 this season, with a success rate of 91.3%.