Sergi Samper’s injury-hit Barcelona career is reportedly set to come to an end, with the midfielder set to join Vissel Kobe on a permanent basis.
Sergi Samper is set to leave Barcelona, according to reports. Spanish publication Sport speculate that the central midfielder will join former Barcelona stars David Villa and Andres Iniesta in Japan, with Vissel Kobe set to complete the midfielder’s signature soon.
One of the players earmarked to take over from Xavi and Andres Iniesta in the Barcelona midfield, Sergi Samper never really got going. The 24-year-old managed just 13 senior appearances for the club owing mostly to long-term injuries, which curtailed his involvement in the Barcelona first-team to a large extent.
Despite just 13 senior appearances, he did lift 7 trophies with Barcelona, one of which being the Champions League in the 2014-15 season. Samper recorded just 33 minutes for Barcelona this campaign, that too in a Copa del Rey clash against Cultural Leonesa.
Vissel Kobe have Andres Iniesta, David Villa, Lukasz Podolski, Dankler and Wellington as foreign players within their roster already. In midfield, Iniesta has Hotaru Yamaguchi, Hirotaka Mita, Masatoshi Mihara and 20-year-old Takuya Yasui to accompany him.
The Spanish veteran is most likely a permanent fixture, with Mita and Yamaguchi making up the numbers in midfield. It will be thus be interesting, who among the two will make way, should Samper slot into the starting eleven, which will most likely be the case once he joins.
Samper will be working under the watchful eyes of Juan Manuel Lillo – the current manager of Vissel Kobe – and hope to resurrect his injury-stricken career since being labelled a La Masia gem.
Barcelona themselves are unlikely to have too much of a problem in letting Samper go. Arthur Melo has come in and shown glimpses of being the Iniesta replacement that Samper was touted to be. Frenkie De Jong will join the club in the summer, while the likes of Carles Alena are already starting to step up to stake a claim to be a regular in the Barcelona midfield soon.
Sergi Samper is reportedly set to join Vissel Kobe on a four-year contract and will finally bid adieu to his Barcelona dream; with the hope that the switch breathes new life into his footballing career.