We’re blessed to have Lenglet. To execute our game, taking bold risks from the very first stage of build-ups, we need players that have the technique and confidence of the Frenchman. Personality to bring the ball out from the back, talent and precision to deliver pinpoint intricate passes, and smartness to pick the best option every time.
He did absolutely everything in the game against Betis, surely his most important contribution being the winning goal. He also made two unusual mistakes in the handball and his second booking, but these are errors are very very rare in him, in particular. To my mind, he perfectly fits into the mould of the prototype Barça defender, in terms of style. A centre-back like, let’s say, Upamecano may have greater conditions. However, for his intellect and ability to choose whether to pass or carry the ball to attract pressure, I would much rather have Lenglet.
Some may argue that he’s a bit ‘soft’, but I would rather have someone with his characteristics than someone that jumps straight into tackles in the first exchange. He doesn’t have an imposing physique, and probably prefers not to get into duels with stronger strikers, but his intelligence, anticipation and positional sense largely make up for his less authoritative nature.
I’ve said it many times. This type of signings, including the ones from Ter Stegen and Arthur, are the ones Barcelona should really be focusing on. We should target a specific profile and some very particular traits, over experience, status or even proven quality. While we’ve been having a season to forget in the defensive aspect, I would say that Clément Lenglet has been our best defender this campaign. And I’m not talking only about our centre-backs, but our entire backline.