Jean-Clair Todibo: Why Barcelona youngster is set for third loan in a year
Barcelona outcast Jean-Clair Todibo is set to be on the move again this January, having failed to impress at Benfica.
Todibo pushed his way to sign for the Catalan side in January 2019 after just 10 Ligue 1 matches with Toulouse.
He found himself unhappy with the lack of first-team opportunities at Camp Nou, however. After a year on the fringes, he made a switch to Schalke on loan. After initial success suffered a groin injury and made only 10 appearances as the Gelsenkirchen side struggled.
Prior to the transfer deadline in October, Todibo was again sent out on loan, this time to Benfica. His spell in Portugal has been troubled, though.
Head coach Jorge Jesus has lamented the physical condition of the player, who struggled with an Achilles issue early in the season.
Speaking before a Europa League match in December, Jesus said: “Todibo won’t be in the squad. He has no physical or tactical condition. He hasn’t worked with the team. He’s not a player I can think of.”
Todibo has, however, finally managed to debut for the Portuguese giants. On 12th January, he featured in their Portuguese Cup match against Estrela, a fixture they won 4-0.
“Great feeling of being back after more than eight months without playing a game. First game and first victory with my new team and congratulations to the entire team for the qualification. Thanks to all the fans for your unconditional support during this period,” he posted on Twitter.
However, he was not in the squad at all for last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Porto, throwing into fresh doubt his future at the club.
Where could Todibo go?
According to reports from Sky Sport Italia, clubs are circling to profit from his situation.
Serie A side Parma have an eye on him, while in Ligue 1 both Saint-Etienne and Nice are monitoring his case.
Nice have already signed William Saliba on loan this January. While he has settled impressively, his influence has not been sufficient to plug the gaps in their rearguard.
Saint-Etienne, meanwhile, have been depleted by injury at centre-back. However, any move to add to their ranks may be dependent on Barcelona absorbing much of the cost of Todibo’s wages.
A move back to France, though, would seem the most sensible option for a player who is clearly in need of stability and confidence after such a promising start to his professional career.