Colombian international defender Yerry Mina is set to make his Barcelona debut in Thursday’s second leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final at Valencia with Gerard Pique an injury doubt.
“(Mina) is selected in the group and that means he’s ready to play,” Barca coach Ernesto Valverde said on Wednesday, as his side look to cement a place in the final following a 1-0 win in last week’s first leg.
“Everything depends on what happens and the coach’s decisions but he is available to play. I know about Mina after seeing him on video in other contexts, but not in our competition. We think he can help us and want him to be an important player.”
The 23-year-old Mina joined Barca from Brazilian side Palmeiras last month for 11.8 million euros ($ 14 million), but the centre-back has yet to feature for his new club.
Pique salvaged a point with a late equaliser in Sunday’s 1-1 league draw at city rivals Espanyol, but the Spain star is struggling with a knee injury although Valverde is still hopeful he can recover.
“Pique finished the match against Espanyol with some pain but he’s definitely not ruled out for the match tomorrow (Thursday). We’re waiting to see if he can play or not,” said Valverde.
Should Pique be passed fit to face Valencia, Mina could instead make his first Barca appearance on Sunday against Getafe with Samuel Umtiti suspended for that game at the Camp Nou.
Three-time defending champions Barca are bidding to reach a fifth consecutive Copa del Rey final, while Sevilla and Leganes meet later on Wednesday in the other semi-final following a 1-1 draw in the first leg.