Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Ferro and Benfica angry with Valencia

Loan signing Ferro is reported (via golsmedia) to be very unhappy with Valencia.

Valencia had some interest in the player last autumn, but with Lim refusing to sign off on new signings it didn't happen. He then was one of three additions in the January window, all of them apparently without consulting Gracia. For Ferro the move seemed a logical one. The arrival of Otamendi at Benfica reduced his playing time and a spell at Valencia, who seemed to have only one fixed defender in Paulista offered more opportunities. The loan includes the possibility to extend it by one year if all parties are happy. It hasn't worked out that way. Ferro played the whole game against Real Madrid on 14 February, but only because Guillamon was suspended and Diakhaby and Mangala were injured. His only other appearance was the following game, where he came on in the last minute purely to waste time. Even the game against Levante, where Gracia opted for 3 central defenders, failed to result in playing time. Despite Diakhaby's recent mistakes, he's also maintained the coach's confidence. If Ferro doesn't get any match time in those circumstances, when will he play?

Ferro is understandably annoyed, as he's getting even less playing time than he did at Benfica. Of course, at the heart of this is the discord between Gracia and the ownership, with the club not bringing in signings that Gracia wanted and then pushing on him loan signings without his knowledge. The other two have barely featured either. Cutrone hasn't played in three of seven games since joining and in the others has played 25, 7, 9 and 14 minutes. Oliva has seen just a little more than that: 85 minutes against Levante and 26, 10 and 8 minutes.

It all doesn't look good for the club. The whole reason clubs send players out on loan is so that they can get more playing time, not less. Benfica in future will probably be more reluctant to okay a loan to Valencia after this. Ultimately, the solution is either to replace Gracia or bring in players after consulting him. The current situation can't be repeated.