Argentina defender Facundo Medina completes move to Racing Club de Lens

Talleres have confirmed that defender Facundo Medina has joined Ligue 1 club Racing Club de Lens in a $4 million move.

The 21-year-old has signed a four-year deal with the Sang et Or and will now be hoping to push for a place in Argentina’s senior set-up after impressing at youth level.

A member of the under-20 side that travelled to Poland for the 2019 World Cup and subsequently won a gold medal at the Pan-American Games, Medina would have been a central component of the side booked to compete at the Tokyo Olympics. That will likely wait until 2021 but a switch to European football won’t hurt Medina’s chances of continuing his central defensive pairing with Nehuén Pérez.

“I would like to thank Lens, its management and staff for their trust,” Medina told the club’s official site. “I am very excited and very enthusiastic and I promise to give everything. I can’t wait to wear this jersey and play.”

The Argentinian becomes Lens’ fourth signing of the window and along with the exciting signing of Venezuelan goalkeeper Wuilker Fariñez from Colombian side Millonarios, the French club have clearly been doing their homework in South America.

Club president Arnaud Pouille confessed, “We’ve been following him for months and his performance has never disappointed us.

“We are really satisfied with his signing since he is a player who provides calm and was considered a defensive leader in Argentina”.

A point echoed by manager Franck Haise – “I wanted Facundo in our ranks. He has a great temperament and the energy of a young player. He has experience and good technique for a player only 21 years old – if you didn’t know you could think he is four or five years older.

“He’s a youngster that will fit perfectly into the club’s DNA. I am very happy that he’s joining our group.”

Not yet the finished product, Medina has shown great potential with Talleres and Argentina so the $4 million paid by Lens could prove a bargain.

The 21-year-old will be a loss to La T but represents a quick profit for them given the Córdoba club paid River Plate $900,000 in 2018 for 65% of the players’ rights. River are due their share of the $4 million for their former academy player and the news is a welcome boost in these tough economic times for Argentinian clubs.

Medina leaves Talleres after playing 33 times but has been a valuable member of the first team squad due to his ability to play in central defence as part of a back four or back three and at left-back.

Former international Roberto Ayala, now among Lionel Scaloni’s coaching staff, knows plenty about playing in central defence at the highest level and believes there is more to come from the youngster.

“Facundo Medina has the personality to play in that position and impose himself, with Nehuen Pérez they have formed a great duo. Medina’s potential is in the centre, he can play left-back but his qualities are different.”

Ayala noted that a dearth of full-backs in Argentina has seen players filling in wide areas but has no doubt that Medina’s future is in his former position. Much like El Ratón, the young defender is not the tallest but makes up for that with a powerful leap and a controlled aggression in the challenge.

A decent burst of pace and good reading of the ball has seen Medina average 13.36 recoveries per 90 minutes for Talleres and his accurate passing over a range of distances provides a useful platform to play out from the back.

Lens have made an astute decision to pick up a player of Medina’s potential for as little as $4 million and with the Olympics next year it may not be too long before the 21-year-old is firmly in Scaloni’s plans.