Tuesday, August 31, 2021

The transfer window closes: Helder Costa signed on loan

 So the transfer window closed a few minutes ago. Multiple sources saying we've added Helder Costa, and that's only waiting official confirmation.

From senior players, we lost Gameiro, KangIn, Sobrino and Mangala. Of those KangIn leaving for free is the only one that stings. Mangala was far too injury prone for anyone to care. Gameiro played a key role in the run to win the Copa but was otherwise a disappointing signing. Sobrino, apart from a fantastic debut against Celtic was just taking up a squad place. The club also made efforts to move out Jason, but could not find a taker. 

From more junior players, defenders Javi Jimenez and Guillem Molina left to join third level Albacete and Sabadell respectively. Both had a similar history at Valencia: a disastrous debut in the Copa (Jimenez got owned by Iago Aspas and gave away a penalty, Molina was sent off) and little game time after. It's unlikely they'd have played much of a role with us. 

Everyone who left did so on a free transfer, it must be decades since we got absolutely no money in the transfer window?

Of course, like the dog in the night in the Sherlock Holmes story what is probably important is not what happened, but what didn't happen. The club went into the transfer window looking to move out Diakhaby, Cheryshev and Guedes, being open to offers for Maxi and with Wass also pushing for an exit. There will be disappointment that we couldn't move out Diakhaby for Djene but the others are very good news. Cheryshev has started the season well and Wass is an experienced utility player who never gets injured. 

The best news is Guedes. This year we've seen him in excellent form. In the last 16 games he's been involved in at least 12 goals: scoring 5 with 7 assists, and those don't even count the goal scored by Wass last game where Guedes was key in the build-up.

In total Valencia has added 6 players, four on loan with buy options. Mamardashvili was only supposed to play for the reserves but impressed enough that he was given a chance due to injuries and he's taken it with both gloves. Alderete already looks like a vast improvement on Mangala. 

The others are unknown as yet but include Foulquier who is a right back capable of covering right wing or left back, Marcos Andre a forward. Hugo Duro, another forward who can play on the wings, and finally Helder Costa. I saw Costa at Wolves. He did really well at the second level but struggled to make an impact in the top flight. He's mainly a right winger but can also cover left wing. In the end the squad looks something like this:

While there are some disappointments, like not getting Arambarri, I think it's been a very good transfer window, keeping key players like Wass and especially Guedes and adding more depth. Let's hope that this squad can push for Europe.