The Transfer Matching System (TMS), the heir of the famous fax, denied Barcelona the signing of Julian Vicente Araujo Zuniga by 18 seconds.
In fact, Mateu Alemany has already announced the decision to appeal to CAS.
“We have been following him for a long time. If they reject the appeal, he will play five months out and then he will join Barcelona Atletic,” he said.
The Los Angeles Galaxy right-back, in any case, could become a future option to give Jules Kounde a rest. At 21 years of age, he has plenty of experience. He has two goals and 14 assists in 109 appearances since Guillermo Barros Schelottole gave him his Major League Soccer (MLS) debut on 17 March 2019.
He was 17 years old, seven months and four days old. “He’s very quick,” claimed the coach to justify his gamble.
He has already passed through La Masia
Barcelona have been following him for a while. Araujo trained at the Barcelona Academy in Arizona and in 2018 he attended a campus at La Masia, training with the youth team.
“If he had a European passport they would have signed him on the spot,” said Miha Kline, Barcelona’s director of recruitment and football operations, at the time.
The Mexican international, although born in the USA, is comfortable with the whole right flank to himself. He has alternated the positions of full-back and winger, but has the soul of a winger.
Last season he made the top 10 in crosses made (231) in MLS. The previous season he finished in the top 5, with 265. He had a big presence in the Galaxy’s play: he was the seventh player in the league who came into contact with the ball the most times: 2,306.
“One of my best qualities is that I am very versatile,” he admits. “I would point out that he is a very dynamic full-back. He’s a tenacious defender and has a good speed that allows him to get into the attack aggressively,” said Gregg Berhalter in a desperate attempt to recruit him to play for the USA.
He doesn’t drive too much, but he has good timing to arrive in from the second line and has the pace and touch to find the best-placed teammate in the box, whether with a high or low ball. These are qualities that made him the first player born in the 21st century to be selected for the MLS All Star team.
On the other hand, Mike Munoz, who coached him in the Academy and the Galaxy first team, praises his “defensive mentality”.
“We don’t know where his ceiling is. He’s a tough-as-nails kid, fearless, not afraid of tackles or facing bigger, faster, stronger opponents,” he told MLSsoccer.com.
Munoz also praises his ability to ‘correct’ errors in defence: “He’s very quick, so he’s able to drop back and make up ground. It’s very difficult to beat him in that kind of situation.”
Two seasons ago, he was the player who made the most tackles (93) and the fourth most completions (54). He was also the MLS player who blocked the most shots (58). That’s Julian Vicente Araujo Zuniga. Let’s see if we can finally see him at Barcelona.