Javier Mascherano has been officially presented by Barça today at the Camp Nou. He’ll wear the #14, replacing Thierry Henry in that number. He signed a 4-year deal with a salary reported to be €5m a year.
Some details: Javier Alejandro Mascherano, 26 years old, is listed at 5’8 1/2″ (174cm). He started his career at River Plate in Argentina in 2003 at the age of 19. He then moved to Brazilian side Corinthians in 2005. It was his transfer from there to West Ham in 2006 that ended up costing the Hammers 5.5m GBP in fines due to illegal signings, even after he’d moved on to Liverpool in 2007.
He played for the Reds until just a few days ago, making a total of 139 competitive appearances in all competitions. He scored just 2 goals–1 in the EPL, 1 in the CL, but that’s not really his game. He can certainly play the hard man if necessary, but Guardiola thinks he can also play the passer. He comes in knowing he won’t be starting often, but his statement on that matter–“it would be stupid if I thought I was going to play constantly”–makes for good reading, at least, and hopefully he’s serious about not minding working hard in practice and not always getting chosen.
My thoughts on him in general are that we’ll have to wait and see. I don’t get why we spent €22m on a backup, but with Oriol not being deemed capable of making the step up this season, we had a hole at DM and Mascherano is certainly proven on the international as well as domestic level. You don’t captain Argentina if you don’t know how to play at least a little bit.