Martin Braithwaite, by his own admission, did not expect to be a Barcelona player this time two weeks ago.
The 28-year-old, who joined Leganes in January 2019 after scoring nine goals in 40 games for Middlesbrough in the Championship, completed a shock move to Camp Nou earlier this week after Barça were granted special dispensation to bolster their injury-depleted attack.
The transfer was a hugely controversial one. Leganes, who began the weekend inside the relegation zone, were denied permission to replace their top scorer.
But for Braithwaite, the chance to join the Catalan giants was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
To play in front of 90,000 fans alongside Lionel Messi and co. was, quite simply, a no-brainer.
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“I won't wash my clothes after hugging him,” Braithwaite told reporters after celebrating Barcelona’s fourth goal with Messi. “He congratulated me and it was nicest touch in the world. You can see he looked for me several times. I feel really good and happy in these first days at the Camp Nou. If you'd told me 15 days ago I'd sign for Barcelona I admit I wouldn't have expected it.”
Braithwaite’s manager, Quique Setien, was also pleasantly surprised with his new signing’s contribution after coming on as a late substitute.
“Braithwaite has done a lot more than we expected,” he admitted. “He is an extraordinary signing. He is going to adapt to what we need. We have seen today various things from him apart from his part in two goals. He will help us a lot.”
Over on social media, meanwhile, there have been some very amusing tweets doing the rounds from Barcelona fans who have taken Braithwaite to their hearts.
‘Braithwaite FC’ is now a thing.
Barcelona will finish the weekend top of La Liga after leapfrogging Real Madrid into pole position.
Zinedine Zidane’s side suffered a shock 1-0 defeat away at Levante later on Saturday.
And fans are joking that this is the Braithwaite effect…
Others are also claiming that Messi has his new teammate to thank for his goal drought coming to an end…
Some fans have pointed out that Braithwaite now has as many league assists this season as a certain Cristiano Ronaldo…
And there have been a few tweets involving Hazard after Real Madrid’s big-money summer signing flattered to deceive at the Estadi Ciutat de Valencia…
The Martin Braithwaite propaganda is well and truly in full swing.
Cules have also been snapping up his shirt on Nike’s website by the looks of it…
So, when can Barcelona fans expect to see their new hero in action again?
Well, not on Tuesday against Napoli because he’s ineligible to play in the Champions League this season.
But next Sunday it’s the Clasico.
Just imagine the reaction if he scores at the Bernabeu…News Now - Sport News