The close of the transfer window is imminent. Barring any late surprises, it's a transfer window that went past without any major departures to annoy the fans. Neto left after an apparent fall-out with Marcelino, but was replaced by Cillessen, who most of us regard as an upgrade. Santi Mina left and was replaced by Maxi Gomez, who the jury is still out on, as it's too early to say. Valencia also picked up several young players: Jorge Saenz, Salva Ruiz, Manu Vallejo and Jason, as well as making Cheryshev's loan permanent and bringing in Costa and Mangala on loan. Other departures were limited to unwanted players: Abdennour, Vezo and Murillo.
There are 3 last day movements.
Thierry Correia joins from Sporting Lisbon, covering Piccini's 5-month injury lay-off. As recently as yesterday, there had been talk that no one would join to cover, which seemed a high risk, with no natural right back there. The question mark will be about the price, with Valencia paying 12 million (with another 3m in variables possible) and giving him a 100 million release clause.
The club had tried to sign Hysaj, a more established player, but Napoli played hardball and ultimately, Valencia was unwilling to go to 20 million or beyond. Correia has done well with Portugal youth teams, but has very few club starts. Labelled as the "new Cancelo" time will tell whether he lives up to his promise or proves to be an ill-advised panic buy. Valencia has, of course, been weak at right back for some time and none of the recent holders (Barragan, Montoya, Vezo, Nacho Vidal, Cancelo or Piccini) did that well there. 12 million represents a significant gamble and it remains to be seen whether he can step up to the challenge of La Liga and UEFA CL.
Next are two departures, both slightly surprising. Jason joins Getafe on a season's loan. With Valencia weakened on the right by the injuries to Piccini and Soler, I would have expected him to stay.
Even more surprisingly and a bit ruthlessly, Salva Ruiz' return to Valencia proved short-lived. Just 9 weeks and a day after he returned, the club cancelled his contract and he joins Deportivo Corunya, with Valencia having a percentage of any future sale.
Those departures mean that three of the four young players who joined us in the summer have left, with only Manu Vallejo remaining. It all seems badly planned and a bit of a scattergun approach.
***Update*** Having failed to find a club for him during the transfer window, Valencia cancelled Alvaro Medran's contract. It would have expired next summer anyway so either way the club wasn't going to get any transfer fee for him.
Overall, no major departures, and a net spend of 56 million euros, though 35 of that comes from Cillesen's buy, with the Neto money going into last season's account. Despite that, I think most of our fans will be fairly frustrated by this window. We were strongly linked with Rafinha and Denis Suarez, both of whom have joined Celta. Other names like Mariano Diaz, Hysaj, Angel Correa and Otamendi caused interest, but ultimately came to nothing, though many will be relieved that Mendes players like Andre Silva or Radamel Falcao didn't join.
Rodrigo, as always, will remain a divisive figure. Many of our support were happy that he was leaving, and 60 million seemed a good price. Yet, even though the deal seemed to be done it didn't happen. There was always the question of who would replace him and worry about the effect on the team if he left so late in the transfer window, after the season start.
The biggest issue is that all of our rivals, both the big three and the fourth placed contenders, have strengthened, and therefore, by staying still, Valencia slips behind in relative terms. The mini-civil war that the club had in the summer seems to have had its effects and they're not good for Valencia. We can only hope that players like Correia, Maxi Gomez and Manu Vallejo do fulfil their promise.