Braithwaite: Barca knew I could reach the level, and they were right

Nicholas Hughes
Braithwaite: Barca knew I could reach the level, and they were right

Barcelona took a gamble on Martin Braithwaite as an injury replacement signing in February 2020, and the Dane believes he has justified the decision in his first year the club.

Barca were given special permission to sign the then 28-year-old from Leganes for £15 million due to injuries sustained to Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez at the time.

Braithwaite had previously struggled to play regularly for a Middlesbrough side that was playing in the Championship and had only reached double figures in league goals twice in his career.

A first Barcelona title for Martin Braithwaite

But the 29-year-old said that Barcelona saw something in him that they needed, and that the decision has been proved to be correct given his contribution to the team.

“They (Barcelona) could see that I have the abilities to play in a lot higher level,” he told CNN.

“They could also see my game is what they needed. That’s also what they told me, that I got the mindset to play in a big club with the pressure.

“Looking back on it now, it just shows they were right.”

Braithwaite was thrust straight into the Barca side last season, scoring one La Liga goal in four starts and seven substitute appearances.

Braithwaite in La Liga this season

StatisticBraithwaite
Appearances26
Goals2
Assists2
Shots P901.8
Touches in opposition box P905.8
via FootballCritic

This season he has found himself with a steady role in Ronald Koeman’s forward rotation, interchanging with the likes of Pedri, Dembele and Antoine Griezmann in support of Lionel Messi.

The Dane has made 26 appearances in the league, totalling two goals and two assists. His best output actually came in the Champions League where he scored three times and laid one assist in six games, with only two starts, in an otherwise disappointing campaign for Barcelona.

READ MORE: Copa del Rey triumph shows Messi there’s life at Barcelona yet

Braithwaite picked up a first trophy with the Barca on Saturday, coming off the bench to play the last few minutes in the 4-0 win over Athletic Bilbao in the Copa Del Rey final.

As far as the future goes, Braithwaite said he is eager to stay at Barcelona for as long as possible and “win a lot of titles”, while also adding his hope that Messi stays at the club to aid the cause.