Yerry Mina is one of the most popular defenders at the moment. After not playing at all in Colombia’s first match, he started all the remaining three matches and scored in each of them.
That way, he became the first defender to score 3 headers in a single World Cup since 1966. Additionally, he was only the second Colombian player to score in three consecutive matches after James Rodriguez in 2014. If anyone guessed before this tournament who would be that Colombian player, probably everyone would have went for Falcao. However, football is unpredictable and here we have Yerry Mina as one of the tournament’s best goalscorers.
But he wasn’t only great in the offensive actions. Namely, he had great defensive performances too. In all 3 matches where he played, Colombia only conceded one goal and that was a penalty. He is not the fastest player, but he just suited Colombia’s playing style and played very good. For example, in the match against England he had 10 clearances, 2 blocked shots, 1 interception and 53 completed passes with 91.4% pass accuracy.
However, these performances are something completely different from what we have seen from Yerry Mina in Barcelona. He only started playing for Barcelona this winter and he played only 5 league matches. In those 5 matches, the Barcelona fans weren’t happy with his performances.
The thing is, Yerry Mina seems to not suit Barcelona’s playing style. If he had played for a team that’s not defending so high up the pitch, he would have probably shown his great potential. With his 195 cm, he is a real powerhouse. He is not only dangerous in the opposition’s box, but he is also very dominant when defending.
For football fans that don’t know him that well, here is an anecdote about the Colombian. He considers the pitch as something holy and he always steps barefoot for the first time on his new team’s pitch. That has also happened when he signed for Barcelona in the past winter.
Even though he didn’t have a great half-season in Barcelona we can see here some good numbers. According to Football-IQ data he was averagely more productive than 79% of all the other players in the League in the defensive actions. Obviously, he has impressive numbers concerning the aerial duels (94%) and he is especially good when positioning against shots (97%). But he definitely has problems when defending high and that is one of the most important abilities that a Barcelona defender should have.
Moreover, he is also a solid passer of the ball. The numbers about making construction passes (96%), passes that promote possession (98%) and short passes (98%) confirm that.
The question now for Barcelona is whether to give him another chance with the first team or to sell him when he has a great reputation. Yerry Mina came to Barcelona in a bad period for him. Pique, Umtiti and Vermaelen were all in front of him in the pecking order and the coach didn’t want to make experiments with the Colombian.
After his great tournament, if Barcelona decides to sell him, they wouldn’t have any problems. However, if he could learn how to defend high like Pique did, Mina would be a very valuable addition to the Barcelona team. Pique is also not the fastest player, but he has learned by the years how to cope with that.
He is also a valuable addition to any squad because he brings joy to the team with his positive energy and dancing. That is also an important thing when buying a player and it shouldn’t be overlooked by football fans. Yerry Mina will very likely have a great career as a defender, but it is uncertain whether it will be in Barcelona or somewhere else.