Franck Kessie has arrived in Barcelona after completing his move from Serie A champions AC Milan and will be officially unveiled at the Camp Nou on Wednesday, July 6.
The Ivory Coast international has already given his first interview ahead of his unveiling and made it clear just how excited he is to have joined the Catalan giants, per the club’s media.
“For me it’s a great opportunity. We know that Barca is a great team. I’m very happy to be here, I’m very excited to get started and give my best to this great team,” he said. “I’m a player who works very hard, gives everything on the pitch and works hard everyday to be able to win things. About me, my position on the pitch will be decided by the coach, he’ll know perfectly where I can help the team best. My idol is Yaya Toure. He’s a great player from the Ivory Coast, like myself. I had the pleasure of playing with the national team with him and I would like to have such a great career as his.”
Kessie has signed a four-year deal with Barcelona which includes a buyout clause set at €500 million. He has been joined at the Camp Nou by center-back Andreas Christsensen who has also moved on a free transfer.
Follow the Heavy on Barcelona Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Kessie Talks ‘Magnificent’ Xavi
Barcelona’s summer signing also spoke about his new coach Xavi and how he can’t wait to start working with the club legend.
He explained, “When a great coach like Xavi calls you, who has had such a great time as a player – he’s ready to become a magnificent coach, when someone like that calls you then you see all your efforts have paid off. I can’t wait to get started working with him and my teammates.”
Barcelona have just started pre-season preparations for the 2022-23 campaign which will be Xavi’s first full campaign in charge of the team. Expectations will be high at the Camp Nou as Xavi took the team from ninth in the table to second after replacing Ronald Koeman as Barca.
Kessie Adds to Barcelona’s Options
Kessie will be hoping to play a key role at Barcelona next season after an impressive campaign last time around where he helped AC Milan win the league title. However, he faces stiff competition for a place in Xavi’s starting XI.
Xavi’s preferred midfield three last season was captain Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, and teenager Pedri but it remains to be seen how his team will shape up for the new campaign, particularly now Kessie has arrived.
Teenager star Gavi enjoyed a breakout campaign last season and is also pushing hard for a starting spot, while Nico Gonzalez is also an option and new arrival Pablo Torre may get a chance if he can impress in pre-season.
Speculation also continues that Barcelona will sell Frenkie de Jong before the start of the new campaign which means Xavi’s teamsheet for the first game of the season against Rayo Vallecano will make for interesting reading.