Jean-Clair Todibo was, until recently, unknown to the majority of football fans. Even those that dedicate their heart and soul to the game. That wasn't the case for Barcelona, who saw an opportunity on the market, a win-win situation: the financial investment is low and, for that reason, the risk is, too. He's almost guaranteed to yield a return, either on the pitch or in the bank.
Barça ended up paying one million euros plus variable to Toulouse to bring Todibo in six months early. They did so despite the fact he would have arrived for free in the summer when his contract expired. He had been frozen out of first-team football at Toulouse, though, due to his reluctance to sign a new deal, which is why Barça felt it was necessary to do the deal in January.
An agreement was finally reached on Jan. 31. Since then, Todibo's been handed the No.6 shirt and registered for La Liga and the Copa del Rey -- but not the Champions League. He was a signing made by the club so the coach, Ernesto Valverde, needed to see him on a day-to-day basis to see what he can offer. And the first sensations are good.
Valverde's been pleasantly surprised with his adaption to the club. The player comes from a different club and a different competition but he understands the concepts which are being explained to him with few problems. Valverde's seen talent in the player and is impressed with the start he's made. To the point that he's weighing up giving him the chance to make his official debut.
The idea, when he arrived, was to train with the first team until the summer, to adapt to this new life in Barcelona. But his quick start could change those plans. In fact, Todibo's already moving ahead of Murillo, the centre-back who arrived on loan from Valencia in January. Barça fans could see the teenager soon.