Tuesday, August 30, 2022


 It's been a long time without updates as I've been on holiday or working. So here's a summary.


Cheryshev's contract finished at the end of last season. While he had some quality moments, his time here was too inconsistent and marred with injuries. He has yet to find a new club.

All 4 players who'd been on loan (Helder Costa, Moriba, Alderete and Bryan Gil) returned to their parent clubs. The first two were no surprise but with Valencia's frailities at the back, there were calls for us to exercise the 7 million buy option for Alderete. In the end he joined Getafe instead and will probably be back at the Mestalla next game. Bryan Gil continues to be linked with a loan return for a year.

Koba was loaned out to Oviedo. He's shown flashes of potential but needs extended game time and with new additions in our midfield he clearly isn't going to get that this season.

Jesper Cillessen was also moved out, returning to his native Netherlands. Like Cheryshev, his time was us saw him injured and unavailable far too often. With Mamardashvili showing good quality after a shaky start he was not needed. The swap with Neto, which seemed a good idea at the time ultimately turned out to be a disaster for all parties as Neto spent his time at Barcelona on the bench before joining Bournemouth on a free earlier this month. 

Easily the biggest loss of the window was Guedes. While this was expected, it was still frustrating as he had finally started to show consistent form and was constantly a goal threat. The fee was also a bit on the disappointing side at 33 - 35 million plus around 4 million more in add ons. The problem was that PSG were due to get 25% of any fee above 40 million so the clubs settled for below that. It seems at best a sideways move for him, as Wolves are struggling and highly unlikely to make Europe this year.

At the time of writing, Soler's future is up in the air. This is another tough one. The club are offering a 5-season renewal but the problem is that mentally, the player seems to have been elsewhere the last few years. His performances have been inconsistent. Again, the issue is a disappointingly low transfer fee being offered by PSG: 15-17 million. It puts Valencia in a tricky position because if he refuses to renew, then the club may just have to take the cash rather than lose him for free next summer. Plus, Valencia allegedly still owe PSG from the Guedes signing. Great things were expected from Soler when he made his breakthrough. He's been a solid player but not the game changing one we hoped for.

Maxi Gomez looks all but gone with only the fee with Fenerbahce to be negotiated. Marcos Andre also continues to be linked. Another disappointment and would also free up a non-EU spot. Manu Vallejo lastly seems surplus to requirements as no coach has trusted him to play him enough.

For once, Valencia did most of their business in good time rather than scrambling around in the last hour on 31 August.

Samu Castillejo was the first player to join on a free from Milan. He did well in pre-season but has looked iffy in recent games with his crosses often overhit.

Samuel Lino and Nico have joined us on season loans from Atletico Madrid and Barcelona. The second has only made late sub appearances so far so it's hard to say. Lino has shown flashes of quality but also has shown a greedy streak so the jury is out.

In defence, Cenk Ozkacar joined us on loan from Lyon. He's supposed to have potential but hasn't played yet and with the injuries to Paulista and Diakhaby and Comert error-prone it's a real surprise this position wasn't reinforced more seriously.

Valencia's only money spent on a transfer was 7.5 million on Andre Almeida from Vitoria in Portugal courtesy of his Portuguese agent whose name needs not be spoken. He's highly rated but again hasn't played yet so we have to wait and see if he can be Soler's heir in midfield.

Lastly, Valencia finally made a marquee signing with Edinson Cavani arriving on a free transfer to great expectation from fans. His scoring rate speaks for itself but there are questions of whether he can repeat it after a disappointing final season at Manchester United and also if he can avoid injuries as he will be 36 in February.

Valencia continues to be linked with another attacker with Braithwaite linked from Barcelona or a return of Bryan Gil. There have been various suggestions of a "surprise addition/return" with both Mata's and Otamendi's names mentioned. 

Valencia started with their customary 1-0 home win over a team that begins with G, beating Granada through a Soler penalty. A tight game at Bilbao followed with a disappointing 1-0 defeat. Last night Valencia put up a good showing against Atletico Madrid but unfortunately lost to a deflected goal after having a Musah wonder strike cancelled out. 

The positive that has to be said is that Valencia are playing much better football than we saw with BORE-dalas ball which had so many of us switching off last season. The team seem capable of stringing multiple passes together, maintaining possession and using a high press.

The negative lies in the following stats.
Against Granada we shared possession but aside from Soler's penalty we only had 1 shot on target the whole game.

At Bilbao we had 63% possession but managed no shots on target. Yep, ZERO!

Last night we went further, having 71% possession but only managing 2 shots on target, while for all their limited possession Atletico managed 7 on target.

So to sum up, 3 games, only 3 shots on target and no goals from open play. This is something that Gattuso urgently needs to fix. Our issue for several seasons has been producing little to nothing for our forwards to work with. It's partly why people like Gameiro and Maxi came and failed. The team needs to create something for Cavani or Duro to work with. As I said lots of times when the topic of replacing Marcelino with Setien came up, possession for its own sake is pointless, we need to create something.

I'll put at least a comment thread up for upcoming games.