Monday, January 3, 2011

Winter transfer market - who should Valencia CF buy?

Goalkeepers - Between Cezar, Moya and Guaita as well as the B team call up goalkeeper Saul Valencia are currently in no need of a goalkeeper and I suspect we won't need one even for the next season, since if there is a need for a 3rd goalkeeper current B team goalkeeper Saul can be called to the ranks.
Cezar is supposed to leave in the summer, but between Guaita or Moya they can finally replace Cezar.

Defense - Valencia's defense has always been the weak link since Ayala left the team. Since then Valencia has been unable to find another Ayala and there is always room for improvement in the back. Having said all that there is currently no real need for a defensive player since all slots are full and there are few players that can play on different defensive positions.
If we were talking about next season than few names would pop up for selling and several will appear as potential purchases, but in this winter transfer all positions are covered and due to Valencia's financial situation any potential buy will have to be carefully considered.

Midfield - This season is possibly the best one in terms of midfield players in the last couple of years. Manuel Fernandes has already been offloaded to Besiktas on a loan deal. With Ever Banega and Tino Costa playing in a similar role and position there was just too much players on the same profile and with Emery's preseason 4-3-3 formation not working it was the logical choice to off load Fernandes.
Valencia are still filled with midfield players and have 2 or even 3 players ready to take positions. For example Maduro can play as offensive and defensive midfield and he also can play as a central defender. Tino Costa can play as a natural midfielder in a standard 4-4-2 formation or as an attacking midfielder.
Albelda is also still strong and fully fit and he still has playing time in him left. Topal is steadily going to be replacing Albelda as a defensive midfielder and he has already shown he is a good player and has had some great matches.
On the wings there are Vicente, Joaquin, Mata, Pablo, Alba who is also the deputy left back as well as Feghuoli who even though is an attacking midfield also plays on the right wing.

Attack - This is probably the one area where Valencia needs reinforcements, not because the current duo of Aduriz and Soldado are bad, but because they are the only natural strikers in the team and when Valencia play the 4-4-2 formation there is a need of a third striker, but also when one of the two gets injured.
This position is tricky because Valencia don't really need a top class striker, but he also needs to be good and at the same time willing to spend a lot of time on the bench, so a top class or at least a very good striker is out of the list.

There has been a lot of transfer rumors going around lately and there has been few names that are really worth purchasing and are great players, but the problem is that in order for Valencia to strengthen its squad it also must offload some players and that is hard to do. Also strengthening the squad now may not be whats going to be best for the next season and that is why Valencia is probably going to take its time and consider very carefully who if any they are going to buy.

My thoughts are that if we are to buy players now they need to be compatible with Valencia's next season squad, meaning they must be long term purchases, they occupy the positions of players that are going to leave in the summer and are good but cheap players. Having all this in mind here are my views:

IN: Leighton Baines (purchase, 7m), Ireneusz Jeleń (purchase, 4m)

OUT:  Manuel Fernandes (loan), Sofiane Feghuoli (loan), Chori Dominguez (sell, 2.5m)

Leighton is a left back who has played all his life in the Premier league, but at 26 he could adapt to Spanish football. Going for him is that he has a sight for assists and this is just the kind of left back any club would want. He is also strong and due to his experience in England can cope with most Spanish wingers. He may not come cheaply, but I think this can be a really good long term investment and the price of this guy is just going to go up.
I'm sure in the summer he will attract attention from bigger clubs and his price may rise skyhigh, so getting him now for a bargain of a price in comparison to his abilities would be a great decision. The problem would be that Everton would not be likely to let him go and a lot of negotiation would be needed to buy him.

Jelen is a Polish attacker that currently plays for Auxerre. He has been their best goalscorer and is highly regarded in France, but due to Auxerre position on the table and financial problems they may be willing to sell him, especially since at 29 he is not getting any younger. I think he would be the perfect addition for Valencia because he has played for a weaker French team and he would probably be delighted to come to Valencia and can be a substitute, but he is also very capable of scoring goals. So this would be a win win situation, though the slightly high 4 million euros transfer fee may be a little bit too much for Valencia to swallow, especially for a winter transfer.
Anyways I think these two players would fit really well with Valencia current squad and due to their positions Valencia would have an easier time in the summer market. Jelen can also play as a winger so he can be of ream value to Valencia.