Juan Bernat, a versatile full-back
After his arrival from Bayern Munich, Juan Bernat Velasco will seek to bring his qualities to the Paris Saint-Germain squad. We take a look at the versatile Spanish defender.
The French champions will have a Mediterranean flavour to their left flank after all. After Yuri Berchiche in 2017/18, it will be another Spaniard, Juan Bernat, who will replace him, becoming the sixth Spanish player in Rouge-et-Bleu (after Cristobal, Enrique De Lucas, Mikel Arteta, Jesé and Berchiche). After coming out of Valencia's youth academy, Juan came through the ranks, making his first-team debut in 2011/12 at the age of 18.
Debut in Valencia
On the Costa Blanca, his industry and style won him plaudits. Excellent with the ball at his feet and with a fine nose for goal, the Cullera-born defender became a first-team regular by the 2013/14 campaign (32 Liga appearances, 13 European games). In three seasons and 74 appearances, he made his reputation, so much so that Pep Guardiola decided he was the man for Bayern in July 2014.
The transfer to Bayern brought further confidence, capped by a goal on his debut with Spain in October 2014 (4-0 in Luxemburg). That was the culmination of a rise through the ranks of the Spanish national sides, from U17 to being U19 EURO champion in 2012 and into the Under-21s and then the senior side. His Bayern debut season was equally as successful with a Bundesliga title at the end of it and the honour of being the player to have won the most challenges league-wide (193). In three seasons in Bavaria, he collected four German championships in 115 competitive appearances, topped off with five goals.
Ligue 1 and Champions League on the menu
At 25, Juan Bernat starts a new challenge after signing a three-year deal with Paris. The solidly built defender (1.70m, 67kg) will bring his precision (90.5% de passes completed in the Bundesliga in 76 appearances) and his versatility (he can play in all positions on the left), giving coach Thomas Tuchel a number of options in one man. With 25 UEFA Champions League appearances already under his belt, his international experience will be valuable when Paris embark on their quest to claim European club football's biggest prize. Bienvenido Juan!