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10 Jul 2018

Tottenham and Everton in tug-of-war for Barcelona star Yerry Mina

Tottenham and Everton in tug-of-war for Barcelona star Yerry
Mina

With his impressive performance against England catching the eye of several European heavyweights, Realsport analyzes Barcelona star Yerry Mina

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Highly touted

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Barcelona bound

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Next stop?

REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Following a dogged performance against England in the Round of 16 in which he scored the goal which sent the game into extra-time, Colombian defender Yerry Mina has drawn significant interest from some of Europe's elite clubs

The current Barcelona man, formerly of Palmeiras, has put in significant performances during the World Cup, forming a solid partnership with Tottenham defender Davinson Sanchez and scoring three goals along the way. 

Despite being key to Colombia's success at the 2018 World Cup, it hasn't all been good fortune for the now Barcelona man. 

Highly touted

Born in Guachene, the Colombian native was a Deportivo Pasto youth graduate, joining the South American side at only 18 years-old. His immense size, strength yet considerable speed allowed him to be promoted to the main squad during the 2013 season, where he made his debut in March 2013. 

Mina's promise was clear and the Colombian star moved on loan to Independiente Santa Fe subsequently becoming a regular starter. His promise was clear as he helped Independiente win the 2015 Superliga Colombiana, netting the first goal in the final: a 2–0 win against Atletico Nacional that turned out to be a two-leg classic. 

REUTERS/John Sibley

Following an impressive campaign, the then-21-year-old signed for South American giants Palmeiras in the Spring of 2016. Despite initially impressing, a hamstring injury forced the star to miss much of his debut season eventually pulling out of the 2016 Colombian Football squad for the summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. 

But young Mina took it all in his stride becoming invaluable for the Green and Whites the following season, scoring four league goals and putting in countless Man of the Match performances as Palmeiras lifted the trophy after a 22-year drought.

Barcelona bound

An impressive season saw a £10 million move to Spanish Giants Barcelona in January 2018, becoming the first Colombian to sign and then play an official match for Barcelona in the process. 

In his unveiling at the Camp Nou he gained an almost Cult-hero status walking barefoot onto the pitch as a sign of respect and his happy-go-lucky personality winning over much of the Barcelona fanbase. 

Mina made his debut replacing Gerard Pique in the 83rd minute of the Copa del Rey semi-final against Valencia but went on to play a bit-part role in Barcelona's season, appearing only five times in all competitions for the Spanish outfit. 

REUTERS/John Sibley

Despite being the tallest player at Barcelona, the 23-year-old became an almost forgotten figure at the Camp Nou. But it is clear that the young man has serious talent. 

For one, his 6 foot 5 inch frame makes him near impossible to beat in the air. Combined with his significant jump height, launching the powerful Colombian into the air like a missile, there are few who can compete with him in the air. 

What is more surprising is his considerable speed: although the South American looks rather unremarkable over 10 yards, after that initial period of acceleration, he comes into his own with the ability to beat most attackers in a foot race. 

It is easy to forget that he is still a young man and is still learning. Mina can lose his head in matches should his side go behind, with the match against England being a case in point. 

Next stop?

Mina's impressive performance against England almost overshadowed his lacklustre season at Barcelona. 

In the wake of the match, both Spurs and Everton have both thrown their hat into the ring, not to mention many European suitors yearning to sign the star. 

Whether Barcelona will want to sell is another matter entirely but, for the Barcelona hierarchy, a chance to off-load a player who hasn't really featured in Catalonia for double the money they bought him for may seem like too good an opportunity to miss. 

It may be a very savvy sale indeed. 

What do you think of Yerry Mina's potential? Let us know by commenting below.