Vissel Kobe has added another name to its ever-growing list of Barcelona connections.

The J. League first-division club announced on Thursday the signing of defensive midfielder Sergi Samper, who will become the third player to trade the famed Spanish side's blue and red for Kobe's crimson following the 2018 arrivals of midfielder Andres Iniesta and striker David Villa.

The 24-year-old Samper rose through Barcelona's famed youth academy and wore the captain's armband at each level along the way. He regularly trained with the first team and impressed in over 100 matches with Barcelona B but struggled to earn playing time after promotion to the senior squad in 2016.