According to Evening Standard, Jasper Cillessen is closing in on a switch to Valencia, with Neto set to move in the opposite direction. It is believed that the Barcelona keeper is set to have his medical at the Mestalla and will come in exchange of Neto, who will soon join Nou Camp.
The Valencia star was linked with a move away from the club this summer, with Arsenal being one of the clubs interested in the Brazilian earlier this summer. However, it looks like he is on his way to Catalonia to provide back-up for Marc Andre ter Stegen. But will he turn out to be a smart signing for the Spanish champions?
Neto’s success at Valencia
After struggling with lack of game-time at Juventus, Neto initially moved to Valencia back in 2017 for a fee of €7 million. The Brazilian has since enjoyed a decent spell at the Mestalla, having become the first-choice keeper for Los Che.
In fact, he has already made 80 appearances across all competitions during his two-year spell at the club. The 29-year-old conceded only 77 goals in 77 league matches, which is quite impressive considering the club’s lack of consistency in defence.
Neto amassed excellent numbers in the recently concluded 2018/19 campaign. He notably made 107 saves in 34 matches, which was the fifth highest in the league. And 47 of those 107 saves have originated from shots outside the box – a tally only bettered Girona shot-stopper Yassine Bounou.
What can Neto bring to the table?
One of the key features of Neto’s overall game is the tall 1.90m frame that allows him to cover a lot of area in goal. It also helps him in making himself bigger to narrow down the angles, especially when facing a one-on-one situation. The Brazilian made eight saves from point-blank range, which is bettered by only three other ‘keepers.
That being said, the 29-year-old is not the most convincing of ‘keepers when it comes to handling the ball from a set-piece situation.
Will Neto be a good signing for Barcelona?
Neto has a vast amount of experience at the highest level of football and could turn out to be an excellent backup for ter Stegen at Barcelona. The potential departure of Cillessen will be a massive blow for the club as the Dutchman remained professional despite his lack of chances.
But, the club will expect pretty much the same from Neto, who is unlikely to make much of a fuss about being the second choice to ter Stegen because he will be presented with the chance of playing in the UEFA Champions League.
As for Valencia, they will be getting an immensely talented individual in the shape of Cillessen. The ex-Ajax ‘keeper could turn out to be an asset for the club in the near future, and as a Neto replacement, he will receive regular game time – making this swap deal beneficial for all four parties involved.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored
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