Franck Kessie officially signs with FC Barcelona after AC Milan exit

The AC

FC Barcelona have finally announced the signing of the Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie on a free transfer. Kessie was a free agent after his contract with AC Milan expired at the end of the 2021/22 season. The Blaugrana were linked with the player since the start of the year and have finally made the deal official.

The upcoming 2022/23 season will be Xavi’s first full season at Barcelona. Xavi turned things around for Barcelona after signing for the club in November 2021 and helped the team finish 2nd in La Liga. Before his arrival, finishing in the top 4 also seemed like a long shot. However, results quickly improved and Xavi stamped his authority on the club.

President, Joan Laporta will be hoping to get back to the summit of Spanish football next season. However, financial woes have restricted the club to a large extent in the transfer market. Barcelona is forced to look for players that can be signed for free owing to their mountain of debt.

Franck Kessie is the first summer signing for Barcelona

The Ivorian is an excellent signing for Barcelona and offers a different dimension to the squad. Kessie is a powerhouse in the midfield and can contribute defensively as well as offensively.

The midfielder has developed as a specialized penalty taker and has been very successful in the past couple of seasons for Milan. However, the most underrated contribution of Kessie on the football pitch is his ability to make recoveries.

Kessie is often seen covering for his full-backs and has been instrumental for Milan in the past couple of seasons. Xavi will be looking to exploit this ability of Kessie to allow Jordi Alba the freedom he needs to contribute offensively down the left flank.

The Ivorian is also capable of playing further forward when the team needs him to. He is also known for his attacking runs in the box and can chip in with goals and assists. Kessie has scored 21 goals and assisted a further 7 goals since the start of the 2020/21 season.

Barcelona have tied Kessie to a long-term deal

Franck Kessie has committed to a 4-year contract at Barcelona. The midfielder will remain at the newly renamed Spotify Camp Nou till 30 June 2026 under the current deal. It would not be unreasonable to expect Barcelona to extend Kessie’s stay beyond 2026 provided he does well at the club. Kessie is still 25 and has the age at his side. Hence, the Ivorian could be a mainstay in midfield for Barcelona for a long time.

It has also been announced that Kessie will have a buy-out clause worth €500 million. The buy-out clause will scare off any potential buyers in the future.

Franck Kessie will compete with the likes of Sergio Busquets, Pedri, Gavi, and maybe Frenkie De Jong for a spot in the midfield. It will be exciting to see what role Xavi has envisioned for the dynamic midfielder.

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