Sporting vice-president Josep Bartomeu said that, rather than making an emergency signing to replace our own French Greyhound, Eric Abidal, that we are going to promote Andreu Fontas to the first team. Those who might have been living under a rock should know that Abidal is going under the knife Thursday to remove a tumor on his liver.
So welcome, Fontas. Those of us who have witnessed his stints have been wondering whether he has the stuff, and I guess that we’re about to find out. His arrival adds one more Catalan to the first team as well, for those keeping count.
He’s a 21-year-old centerback, whose strengths are positioning, passing and movement. He’s very reminiscent of our Piquenbauer, pre-Shakira. He’s a big’un at 6-foot-1, and began life as a defensive midfielder, which probably explains his movement qualities, and comfort with the ball at his feet. And he’s coming at a great time, as his apprenticeship will be at the feet of the Master, Captain Caveman himself, Carles Puyol.
Let’s all wish him the best. He has a heavy load to assume, and we’ll see if he’s ready.
Fontas made his first-team debut against Sporting Gijon in 2009. He started for us last year, in an 8-0 can of whipass that we opened up on Almeria. And remember that 50-yard pass to Pedro!!, that had all of us thinking “So that’s what Pique is always trying to do!” That same year he was a standout against Rubin Kazan in a 2-0 home win. He even scored a goal in that meaningless Champions League outing.
Here’s a Fontas highlight reel:
P.S. I’ve never hoped that Guillem Balague is more right, but he was citing club medical sources as saying the tumor is almost certainly benign, and they say Abidal will be back in 4-6 weeks.