Sunday, June 5, 2011

Summer transfer market - Who should Valencia CF buy?

Who should Valencia CF purchase?

Goalkeepers – Between Vicente Guaita, Miguel Angel Moya, Diego Alves and Renan Brito Valencia are currently in no need of a goalkeeper, in fact Valencia needs to sell in this department otherwise it will just lead to massive unrest between the goalkeepers as each of these players will want to get playing time.
Cezar Sanchez has already left for Villarreal, even though Valencia coach Unai Emery was counting on him being the 3rd choice goalkeeper, but I guess in the end this benefits both sides as having so many goalkeepers is never such a good choice, from financial point of view and sporting point of view.

Defense – This is the area that needs the most reconstruction as for several seasons now it has been the weakest link in the team and no matter what reinforcements are made its still continues to be the weakest link, either testament of how good the other areas are or just how bad Valencia defense is.
Right now the whole defense needs to get rebuild from the ground up if Valencia is to challenge for more than 3rd place next season. Having said this Valencia is planning on selling David Navarro, Miguel Brito, not renewing with Stankevicious and the arrival of Adil Rami is certainly a step in the right direction, but with Del Horno loan ending and arriving back, Jordi Alba possible move as a left winger, there is much to be addressed here.
Valencia is still going to need to find a great right-back and probably bring one additional center back as we have two that are very likely to leave.

Midfield – This is probably the strongest area of our team with good quality and quantity and at least 2 players on each position. We have no doubt Valencia’s best player Juan Mata, the experienced and always reliable David Albelda staying for yet another year, two great players in Pablo and Joaquin battling for the right wing spot and of course we have Topal who has excelled in the defensive midfield role, Tino Costa who has really replaced Even Banega more than adequately when he was injured and having problems with his weight, not to mention we have depth here in Fernandes and Maduro who wait for their opportunity.
This doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be changes here, with Ever Banega possibly leaving and Vicente’s departure has left the left wing slot shorter by one man and needs to be addressed.
We also have the returning of Feghuoli, Michel, Sunny and other so there needs to be some offloading and reshuffling of the cards if you will. 

Attack – This is the area that realistically doesn’t really need strengthening with Roberto Soldado, Jonas Gonclaves and Aritz Aduriz all capable of scoring goals and playing well its probably the best area right now for Valencia.
Even though Valencia doesn’t really need strengthening in attack, Valencia is still going after Lorient’s Kevin Gameiro, Valencia’s summer transfer target that failed to materialize. Valencia and the player have reached an agreement and the problem right now is the transfer money, with Valencia offering in the region of 6-7 million, while Lorient asking 10-12 million euros.
Whatever the case Valencia can function with 3 and 4 players in this department and there shouldn’t be major problems considering Valencia is going to play in 3 competitions next season and has plans to go far in each one.

Opinion: This is the season where Valencia needs to rebuild and sort out its ranks. It needs to bring quality, yet cheap players, players that have huge value for money and players that can really shine and have future in the team, getting close to Barcelona and Real Madrid and go further and further in the Champions League and Spanish Cup.
We should sell or release quite a few of the players and of course bring in quality reinforcements all the while keeping our bank within 10 million differences between expenditure and income. 

Few of the considered players that made the top 10 list of quality players and value for money:
Marvin Martin, age 23 – midfield (attacking), Sochaux, 6-8 million, 6/10
Roman Ermenko, age 24 – midfield, Dynamo Kyiv, 4-5 million, 6/10
Maximiliano Pereira, age 26– right back, Benfica, 7-8 million, 8/10
Alan Dzagoev, age 20 – attacking midfield, CSKA Moscow, 7-10 million, 6/10
Andreas Beck, age 24 – right back, 1899 Hoffenheim, 5-6 million, 7/10
Benedikt Höwedes, age 23 – center back, Schalke 04, 9-11 million, 8/10
Mario Götzem, age 19 – attacking midfield, Dortmund, 12-13 million, 7/10
Note: Top 10 list is filled with top quality players that represent value for money and the decisions are based on statistics, watching every available video of the players in action and of course various articles on the players.

PLAYERS IN: Diego Alves (purchase, 3 million), Renan Brito (loan end), Benedikt Howedes (purchase, 10 million), Maximiliano Pereira (purchase, 8 million), Adil Rami (loan end), Asier Del Horno (loan end), Stephen Sunday (loan end), Miguel Angel (loan end), Manuel Fernandes (loan end), Roman Ermenko (purchase, 5 million), Isco (from VCF Mestalla), Paco Alcacer (from VCF Mestalla), Sofiane Feghuoli (loan end), Chori Castro (purchase, 18.000), Aaron Niguez (loan end) and Kevin Gameiro (purchase, 7 million).

PLAYERS OUT: Cezar Sanchez (free transfer), Miguel Angel Moya (sell, 2 million), Renan Brito (sell, 1 million), Miguel Brito (sell, 4 million), David Navarro (sell, 2.5 million), Marius Stankevicious (loan end), Asier Del Horno (sell, 1 million), Stephen Sunday (sell, 1 million), Miguel Angel (sell 1 million), Manuel Fernandes (sell, 5 million), Ever Banega (sell, 16 million), Sofiane Feghuoli (loan), Alejandro Dominguez (sell, 4 million), Aaron Niguez (sell, 0.5 million), Paco Alcacer (loan).

Players in cost: approximately 33 million euros
Players out income: approximately 38 million euros
Total: approximately 5 million euros in profits

Benedikt Howedes is a central defender who plays for Schalke 04 and is probably one of the best defenders in Europe right now and at only 23 years of age he has his whole career ahead of him to improve. It’s going to be a hard battle for Schalke 04 to release him, considering he is one of their main players and his contract is set to expire in 2014.
What’s in Valencia’s favor is that it can offer him Champions League football and more high level challenge in Spain. Valencia is also more prestigious than Schalke 04 and can also offer Beneditk a better contract. I think with good negotiation we can get him for 10 million euros and Valencia should make all efforts to sign him before his price skyrockets next season, similarly as I’ve predicted with my winter recommendation Leinghton Baines who’s price has now skyrocketed since he is considered one of the best players in England and beyond. 

Maximiliano Pereira is a right back playing for Benfica and is currently one of the best right backs in Europe without getting too much hype. His price is still reasonably low because the hype hasn’t really caught to him, but he is an excellent player and at only 26 years old he has great value.  He played all the matches for Uruguay in the world cup 2010 in which Uruguay finished 4th place.
The biggest problem right now is that Real Madrid are after left back Coentrao, so if he is sold, it’s very unlikely that Benfica will risk selling another one of their defenders, in this case their right back. It’s all going to depend if the player wants to play for another club. Valencia can offer him Champions League football and more opportunity for him, so it will all depend if Valencia can make an agreement with the player and then pressure Benfica. Whatever the case I’m just listing the best possible options here if Valencia is going to be a team that can challenge for titles.

Roman Ermenko is a midfielder playing for Ukrainian team Dynamo Kiev and is a potential star. He is not better than Ever Banega, he is not even established yet and his performances in Ukraine have been quite varying from amazing to bad, but I feel he is to explode really soon and really rise as a top player. You can watch his games in the Uefa European League and see what I’m talking about. He has really big potential and showed off some of his skills in the European league this season, providing 6 assists and basically finishing as the top assistor. I think he is going to shine next season and Valencia would be smart to snatch him up for 5 million euros, maybe even lower with smart negotiations.
He is one of the cheapest options and provides good value for money. Valencia is likely to purchase him for 5 million or even less if they mounted an offer.

Chori Castro is a left winger playing for Mallorca right now and with recent reports that his contract has a clause that lets him leave for 18.000 euros Valencia would be crazy to miss out on this kind of opportunity. He is a good player and while he is nothing special, he will primarily be Mata’s replacement when he is injured or rested. What is good about Chori Castro is that he is a direct runner and differs quite a bit from Mata so that can open up few variants against various oppositions. 

While he is not that young in football years, he probably has his best 4 years ahead of him and if Valencia signs him on a 4 year deal he can be a great asset.

Kevin Gameiro is a striker currently playing for French team Lorient and is one of the hottest properties in France right now. Valencia already had reached sort of an agreement with the player and is basically negotiating with Lorient about the price of the player. Kevin Gameiro has been very vocal that his preferred destination is Valencia and has rejected reportedly 11 offers from other clubs.
This kind of player with such quality and especially determination to come to Valencia must be purchased no matter what. How often do you see players wanting so badly to come to Valencia and are actually amazingly good. Valencia should try to get him at all costs and offer anything between 7-9 million euros. 

Players out explanation: Valencia CF basically needs to rebuild and it must start by selling some of its weaker players. With Cezar Sanchez already gone we should continue to sell both Renan and Moya and reduce our goalkeeper count to 2, while if there is a need bring Saul from the youth team as a 3rd choice.
Miguel, Navarro, Stankevicious and Del Horno should all be offloaded as they are just draining the clubs resources, especially Del Horno who is currently the highest paid player in Valencia. 

Navarro’s time is over and he is just not good enough for Valencia, Stankevicious is also not good enough and doesn’t deserve to be purchased and Miguel has been having all sort of problems outside of football with criminal charges against him, reckless driving charges, bad relationship with Emery and he is also not getting any younger. 

All of the returning midfielders from their loan deal should be finally sold, as most of them have only 1 year contract with Valencia and we should get some money from them.
Manuel Fernandes should be sold and Valencia should get to make as much money out of him, but not risk not being able to sell him. 

Ever Banega has been amazing in the 2009/10 season, but this season he has returned to some of his older problems like staying until late in the morning hours drinking alcohol, coming late to training and getting fat. He is young and very talented, but I’m afraid he is one of those players that are never going to fulfill his true potential and Valencia would be smart to sell him after the South American tournament when his price is inflated and get as much money out of him to fuel some of the purchases. With clubs like Inter, Roma, Tottenham and more interested in his signature there is likely to be some bidding wars.

Aaron and Chori should be sold and get some money off of them, no matter how small it is, although I think Valencia can cash in about 4 million on him, while Paco should be loaned out to some segunda of primera team in order to gain experience.

With the possibility of Valencia even turning profit with these changes, the club can even make a more aggressive push in trying to sign some of these players, like for example offering 9 million for Gameiro, 12 million for Benedikt or even go for some cheaper segunda B purchases that go around 1-3 million and get an additional right back for example, allowing to possibly even sell Bruno.

Next season options: