Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Rodrigo De Paul sold to Udinese ; Valencia beat Munster in first preseason friendly

Rodrigo de Paul is the latest casualty of "OperaciĆ³n salida" (clear out operation) which aims to reduce the wage bill and free up cash for new players to revamp the squad. The winger has been sold to Udinese for €3million. He was the last signing of Pizzi, who signed him in May 2014 for €4.7 million on a 5-year contract to replace the departing Eduardo Vargas, who had been on loan with us, but we lacked the cash to sign. The relatively high release clause (40 million) was a sign that Valencia were hoping for good things, but ultimately it didn't happen.

In Valencia's first game of the 2014/15 season, with Valencia losing 0-1 to Sevilla, DePaul came on as a 66th minute sub to replace Alcacer, a sign that he was intended to fill the Vargas role of secondary striker. The omens were already bad, as he was sent off after being on just a minute. He scored the winner for Valencia in the 2-1 win in the CopaDelRey over Rayo and scored his only other goal in La Liga for the club in a 1-1 draw at Bilbao in which we were robbed of three points by awful refereeing.

In 2015/16 De Paul was frozen out by Nuno, with the rumour being that it was because he had sided with Negredo against the coach. He made a return under Neville but failed to convince and was loaned out to Argentina where he had a poor spell. DeP was a fan favourite, so a lot of people will be disappointed. Ultimately, though, he had his chance under 3 Valencia coaches and also on loan and failed to make the cut and 2 goals in 42 games is not that impressive. So with Valencia already being well covered on the wings, maybe it's for the best.

In other news today, Negredo's loan to Middlesbrough is finally confirmed. Boro will pay all of his 7 million a year salary, but the option to buy doesn't seem to be there.

Lastly, Valencia kicked off their pre-season campaign with a 4-2 win at Preussen Munster. With no live feed available, Superdeporte's text commentary gives a rundown of the game. The highlights are available on Valencia's official YouTube channel (link here and here.) Valencia basically went for a mix of first team and Valencia Mestalla players, with a starting line up of Ryan, Lato-Vezo-Orban-Cancelo, Fuego-Parejo-Valdemarra, Nando-Alcacer-Rodrigo. 19 (!) subs were named with 13 used. Scorers for us were Paco, Rodrigo and Mestalla player Aridai Cabrera. With so many changes and the game interrupted by poor weather, it's hard to know what to make of the result, but conceding 2 goals against a German third level team is a bit worrying and a sign that Pako still has a lot of work to do with Valencia's defence.