Argentina U23 coach Javier Mascherano has praised Brighton & Hove Albion signing Valentin Barco, labelling him ‘unique’.

Mascherano has been speaking to DSports Radio FM 103.1 after qualifying for the Olympic Games this summer with his young side.

Barco is a part of that group, with the 19-year-old one of a current crop of highly rated youngsters currently breaking through in Europe.

He established himself at Boca Juniors over the last 18 months or so, rising rapidly from the second team into the first team and establishing himself there,

His performances for the Argentine giants led to huge and consistent speculation about his future, with Brighton and Manchester City both eyeing him up throughout the summer.

It was eventually Brighton who won the race for him, although they had to wait until January to do so, signing the player for €9.15m and activating a release clause in his contract to add him to their crop of young talent.

The hope is that they can develop him like they have developed so many others in recent years and turn him into a star for the future.

That will naturally depend on the player too, but Mascherano is certainly convinced by what he’s seen while working with the youngster.

“I have a great relationship with him, we have long talks. He is a different player from everyone, unique in his position,” he said when asked specifically about the Brighton signing.