Barcelona complete emergency signing of Martin Braithwaite from Leganes


Barcelona have completed the 'emergency signing' of Martin Braithwaite from Leganes.

The Blaugrana activated the Dane's £17m release clause after being granted permission to add a player to their squad by the RFEF following Ousmane Dembele's six-month injury lay-off.

Both the Frenchman and Luis Suarez are set to miss the remainder of the season, with Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann and Ansu Fati left as the only fit forwards.

Braithwaite's signing will come as a hammer blow to Leganes, with the club facing a battle to remain in La Liga.

The Danish international was a key figure in their bid for survival, scoring six goals in his 24 league appearances - a third of the team's current 18-goal haul.

Fans of English football will remember Braithwaite from his short stint with Middlesbrough in the Championship.

In his 40 games for the club, he managed just nine goals and failed to complete a full season with the club after arriving in the summer of 2017.

January 2018 saw him move to Bordeaux on a temporary basis, where the 28-year-old scored four goals in 14 appearances.

Braithwaite returned to 'Boro for the start of the 2018/19 season but he was off to Leganes on loan in January 2019 after a dismal few months at the Riverside.

Republic of Ireland v Denmark - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier

The move was made permanent in the summer, but Leganes are now losing their prized asset.

Overall, the deal is a pretty poor one for both parties concerned - on paper at least.

Braithwaite is nowhere near good enough to play for Barcelona, but he could have been the difference between Leganes maintaining their place in Spain's top-flight.

The relegation candidates will also not be allowed to sign a replacement, such is the unfair nature of the ruling.

But there is the slimmest of chances that Braithwaite will thrive at the Camp Nou, stranger things have happened in football...

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