It seems like, there was indeed a rumble in Balaídos’ offices. After the arrival of a decorated coach like Rafa Benítez, Celta announced the signing of Jonathan Bamba this tuesday. He is the third addition of the season after Manu Sánchez (part of the deal that sent Javi Galán to Atlético) and Carles Pérez, who comes back to the club after his stay on loan the previous year.

The 27-year-old Ivorian winger (born in France) arrives in Vigo on a free transfer after five seasons displaying great performances at Lille. He has signed a contract until 2026 and is destined to be one of the keys to Celta’s potential success in the club’s 100th anniversary season.

With Bamba, the Galician side achieve a signing that is usually out of their economic reach (his value is of 20 million in Transfermarket) and was followed by many top clubs in Europe.

Most of the responsability for the move and the weight of the negotiation fall on Luis Campos‘ shoulders, who signed him for Lille from Saint-Étienne back in his stint at the French club. This shows the capacity of the Portuguese executive to attract renowned players or managers who otherwise would not be willing to coach or play in Vigo.

A dribbling specialist that can also score:

Bamba’s signing will help Celta de Vigo a lot on offense. A dribbling specialist who can play in both wings and also score. In his seven seasons playin in nothern France, Bamba played 200 matches in which he recorded 29 goals and 35 assists.

Last season, the winger scored six goals and dished out seven assists that helped Lille qualify for the Conference League. His best year came in the 2018/2019 campaign under Galtier, in which he contributed 13 goals to Lille’s run for the French league’s second place. He leaves the ‘Dogos’ after clinching a Ligue 1 title in the 2020/2021 season and a French supercup the year after.

But what can Bamba bring to Celta? The Ivorian international is really well-rounded, allowing him to play in any position up front. In spite of that, the left wing is his favorite spot, cutting inside from the sideline.

But he mostly stands out because of his finishing. He has the ability to culminate plays with a shot or key pass. The winger also posseses great off-ball movement that allows him to be a threat in his opponent’s box coming form the second line of attack.

Another one of his strengths is his explosiveness while dribbling. In one on one situations he is unpredictable, as he can easily finde the baseline despite his strong foot being his right. On the wing, he is able to connect ‘give and go’ passes with his teammates to trace diagonal routes to the goal. A style that fits to perfection with players like Iago Aspas, Gabri Veiga or Larsen.

In short, Bamba slots right into the ideal wing archetype of Benítez’s system and has the talent to record impactful scoring and assisting numbers. An outstanding reinforcement for Celta, who are ready to dance ‘La Bamba’ in Balaídos with Oliveira dos Cen Anos in the background.

Translated by Nuño Alonso.

Main image: @losclive.


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