It was late August when it was officially announced that Atlético Madrid had secured the signing of Josuha Guilavogui from Saint Etienne for €12 million.
Many Rojiblancos thought, “Who is he?” “What position does he play?” and “Where did this transfer come from?”
For the most part, I thought the same. Still, to this day, I often wonder who exactly Josuha Guilavogui is.
The young Josuha was born in Ollioules, France and is 23 years old. He’s been capped for the French national team a total of five times.
Josuha is a product of the St. Etienne youth academy, having made his debut when he was 18 years old.
After four years with the St. Etienne senior team, he was abruptly sold to Atleti and signed a five-year contract.
Guilavogui’s primary position on the pitch is as a defensive midfielder, known for being able to break up opposition attacks and quickly distribute the ball for a counter.
However, after four months with the club, Guilavogui has only made five appearances for los Rojiblancos.
His debut came on October 6th after he came on for an injured Gabi. He played a grand total of one minute.
The Frenchman would have to wait one more month for his next opportunity. The second time he dressed in the red and white jersey, was when Atleti routed Austria Vienna 4-0. Guilavogui managed to play 34 minutes.
Guilavogui has made one appearance in La Liga, two in the Champions League and two in the Copa del Rey.
After several months at the club and such a limited amount of minutes given to the young French international, it is easy to ask why was he brought into the squad in the first place?
The squad has Gabi, Mario Suárez and Tiago to fulfill the same role. Koke has also played several times in this position. If Diego Simeone didn’t request his signing, and if the club is in such a bad financial situation, why did this transfer ever happen?
After snooping around a bit, I may have found out why. The answer? Doyen Group.
If you don’t remember, Doyen Group is who allegedly owned the majority of Radamel Falcao’s rights and facilitated his transfer to AS Monaco this past summer. We’re talking about the company that sponsored our jersey two seasons ago; an organisation that has a firm grasp of Atlético.
Once I went through the whole Doyen Group’s website, I found this statement posted by them this past October:
“Doyen Sports is proud of the cooperation with Valencia and Atlético Madrid concerning the signings of Pabón and Guilavogui, respectively. In both cases, Doyen financed 50 percent of the investment. We congratulate the clubs for signing excellent players and we wish the athletes luck for the following seasons.”
Is the mystery of this transfer solved? We’ll be sure to find out this summer if Guilavogui manages to stay next season.