Malcom 'a great gamble' for Barcelona - Bordeaux boss Gus Poyet
Bordeaux manager Gustavo Poyet has backed Malcom to shine at Barcelona after the 21-year-old completed his surprise move from the Ligue 1 side to the Camp Nou on Tuesday.
Former Brighton and Sunderland boss Poyet only took charge of Bordeaux in January but his short spell working alongside Malcom was enough to convince him that the Brazil under-23 forward has what it takes to succeed alongside Lionel Messi and co.
"It is an exceptional step for him and a great gamble for Barcelona," Poyet told ESPN. "He has an extraordinary left foot, he plays on the right, on the opposite flank and comes towards the middle with a lot of power. He has a great shot from distance, a lot of confidence and a very good individual quality."
Furthermore, the former Zaragoza, Chelsea and Tottenham midfielder believes that Malcom will not need much time to adapt to La Liga, having already proved his worth in Europe since joining Bordeaux from Corinthians in 2016.
"He's a very good lad," Poyet said. "And he has something special because he loves football. He is dedicated to football and enjoys it which is very important. He's totally prepared.
"It depends on the system but he can play on both sides. Here, he did on the right flank. In some ways [he plays in a position] similar to Messi, coming in to the middle. But in a squad like Barcelona's, it won't be difficult for him to adapt."
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Roma had been expected to sign Malcom after the Serie A side announced on Monday they had reached an agreement with Bordeaux to sign him. However, Barcelona dramatically gazumped that move at the last minute by improving the terms offered by the Italian club to complete a deal worth €41 million plus €1m in add-ons. Roma sporting director Monchi has since said that legal action is being considered.
"There is nothing strange about it [the transfer]," Poyet said. "Bordeaux reached an agreement with Roma, Barca emerged improving the terms and the club, with the player, made a decision. I cannot comment but if Barca call you..."
Malcom joining Ernesto Valverde's side has added uncertainty to Ousmane Dembele's situation, who failed to make the impact expected during his first season at the Camp Nou. Cadena Cope reported on Tuesday night that the France international could even consider leaving Barcelona only a year after joining from Borussia Dortmund in a deal worth an initial €105m.
But Poyet said: "This [arrival of Malcom] shouldn't be bad for Dembele because in a team such as Barca, that starts with the aim of winning all the titles, you have to rotate the players and there is space for everyone. What Malcom offers is variety and he has to become an important player."
Poyet added that he would have welcomed a Barcelona player moving to Bordeaux as part of the deal, but such a possibility was not considered due to the quick nature of negotiations between the clubs.
"No Barcelona players have been included in the deal," he said. "Or at least at this time I have no knowledge of it. Nobody talked to me [about it]. I wish there was a possibility."
Pressed whether he would have liked to include the likes of Andre Gomes or Paco Alcacer in the deal, he replied: "Who would not like them? For the moment nobody talked to me about it."