Premier League's next €100m star? Brighton signing can be the next Martinelli or Nunez

Jacque Talbot
Jacque Talbot
  • 15 Jan 2024 09:15 GMT
  • 3 min read
Valentín Barco, Boca Juniors
© ProShots

Brighton have done it again. We know their M.O. by now - delivering masterstroke after masterstroke in the transfer market, securing deals for quality young players for a minuscule sum.

Of course, Barco is going to light up the Premier League, it’s Brighton. Of course, in three years, the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United will be bidding for over €120 million for a player the Seagulls have secured for just €10m.

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This is true Moneyball. You just scratch your head and wonder why clubs just chose not to make the first move, saving millions. It has been done before, of course. Securing the relatively unknown Argentine striker Julian Alvarez for a modest €21.4 million on River Plate proved to be a masterstroke for Manchester City, but such examples are few and far between in today’s game.

Barco distinguished himself as a standout player for Boca Juniors this season, leading to a slew of links to the Premier League. His showings in the Copa Libertadores, in particular, have attracted interest from a wide berth of clubs in Premier League.

What makes Valentin Barco so good?

Barco's journey commenced in Buenos Aires, where he excelled as a striker for the local side Club Atletico Sportivo. After a short while, he was identified as a potential talent at the age of nine by Boca's scouts, and debuted for them in 2021, aged 16.

Roberto De Zerbi can see this youngster flourish
© ProShots - Roberto De Zerbi can see this youngster flourish

Barco's versatility and skill set prompted a transformation from a marauding left-back to an attacking outlet. He can play anywhere down the left-hand side. The youngster is exceptional in dribbling, passing, and playmaking. The teenager Barco notched up two goals and eight assists across various competitions.

Physically, Barco is not quite developed, but that will come with time. Here we could honestly have the best footballer to emerge from Latin America and head to the Premier League in recent memory. Brighton is the perfect destination to see that realised.

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