Showing posts with label Players. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Players. Show all posts

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Garay injured: out for next six months

Fairly awful news, and at the worst possible time. Ezequiel Garay's injury is serious and he will miss the next 6 months.

The news sums up our lack of luck with injuries this season. If this had happened even 4 days ago, we could at least have gone for a sticking plaster solution in the form of a loan. But now with the transfer window closed, we now only have Paulista, Diakhaby and a not that good and not that fit Mangala. This comes at the most critical time of the season when the cup game at Granada will be followed by Getafe away, Atletico Madrid at home, Atalanta away and Sociedad away.

For the games against Atalanta, Paulista is suspended, so that leaves just Diakhaby and Mangala as our only available defenders. Why do we always only have four when we knew at the start of the season that two were very injury prone?

As the injury is for longer than 5 months, Valencia therefore qualifies to make an emergency signing. This must be either a player who plays in the top two divisions of Spain or doesn't have a club at the moment. We are also at the non-EU limit so it must also be someone with an EU passport. The names mentioned in the Valencian sports press are unexciting ones: bringing back Jorge Saenz, who Celta have judged not good enough. Roncaglia returning (again, wasn't good enough last season) or Fernando Calero of Espanyol. Ultimately, we're chasing scraps, but it's better than nothing. Weirdly, Garay being injured for 6 months is better for us than a 4-month injury. Another consideration is that the deadline for registering players for the last 16 of the Champions league is midnight tomorrow (3rd February.)

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Official: Valencia CF loan Alessandro Florenzi from AS Roma

Valencia have officially announced the loan of Alessandro Florenzi from AS Roma. This is Valencia's first arrival in the winter transfer market which closes tomorrow (January 31st).

The loan deal does not include a purchase option as was the case with loan deals in recent times for Valencia. The player will return to AS Roma at the end of the season (June 30th, 2020).

This signing leaves Valencia with 4 right-backs in the team - Florenzi, Correia, Piccini and Wass. Piccini is currently in the last phase of recovering from his long term injury and should be back one or two weeks into February. Wass provided versatility and adapted from his midfield role into the right-back role as a response to that injury and the lack of an alternative. Correia was signed to ease and grow into this role and eventually take over in the future but has so far not impressed.

Moving forward, it is expected that Florenzi will be the main starter for this role, at least until Piccini returns and Celades can evaluate them both to meet the needs of the team. Celades has not had the opportunity to work with Piccini prior to this due to the injury. Some will points out that Piccini did not perform before his injury but it remains to be seen if the new coach can get something out of him. This also means that Wass will hardly feature as right-back once Piccini returns. Instead, he will probably return to the midfield role as a replacement for Parejo. As for Correia, it was reported that the club has been actively seeking to find an outlet for him and has assigned Mendes to the case but they are having difficulty finding any demand, which is quite concerning quite frankly.

Florenzi has already started training with the team but will likely not be ready to play this Saturday's La Liga fixture against Celta Vigo.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Injury Update

We got more news coming in terms of the injury situation.

Ferran Torres has picked up a bone injury after receiving a kick in training. He will be out of action for 3-4 weeks as a result. We said before that these injuries should be investigated and dealt with in some way on the medical, fitness or coaching levels but they seem to keep happening.

Rodrigo is still estimated to be out for a bit less than two weeks and has already missed the Super Cup game against Real Madrid.

Piccini's return has been set/planned to be the Champions League fixture against Atalanta.

Guedes is progressing well and should be back in the final week of January in the best case or the first week of February.

Manu Vallejo should also be back in the start of February.

Going the opposite direction, Kang In has recovered and is in the final stages of getting match ready. He should be available for next week's match against Mallorca in La Liga.

No news yet with regards to the transfer market activities incoming or outgoing. Just Paco rumors here and there since the start.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Piccini Injured

Cristiano Piccini has suffered an injury during training, fracturing his knee cap. This is a very serious injury and will take him out of the squad for at least 4 months but some estimates saying 5 months. This is the second major injury this season with Soler also out for 3-4 months. The season has barely even started.

This injury has forced Valencia to enter the transfer market seeking a right-back to supplement the position while Piccini is injured. We have three competitions to play and one right-back is not enough for rotations. Some would argue that the right-back position should have been reinforced anyways this transfer window. Now, it will be due to an emergency circumstance.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Official: Valencia CF loan Jaume Costa from Villareal CF

Valencia CF have officially announced a loan deal for Villareal CF left-back Jaume Costa. The 31-year old will be the back-up left-back for Gaya this season. This loan deal is 1-year deal spanning until June 30, 2020.

There were some reports that Didac-Vila would be the chosen left-back, however, this seems to have fallen through with Marcelino presumed to have pushed for Jaume Costa instead. Jaume Costa started his career with the Valencia B team. He has played in Spain throughout his careers with a loan for Cadiz before joining Villareal B in 2010 and then made the jump to the first team in 2012 where he has played since.

Expecting some announcement with respect to Rodrigo soon with the player reportedly having said goodbye to the teammates and staff already.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Official: Valencia CF loan Eliaquim Mangala from Manchester City

Valencia CF just released an official statement announcing the return of Manchester City defender Eliaquim to Valencia. This will be the defender's second loan spell at Valencia having featured beside Garay in the 2016-17 season where he scored 2 goals.

The deal is a loan deal spanning 2-years, taking us to June 2021. Mangala will complete Marcelino's 4-man defense alongside Garay, Paulista and Diakhaby. This puts Javi Jiminez in a situation where he has to either agree to stay sidelined or be loaned elsewhere to get some minutes.

Mangala's contract with Manchester City was until June 2020 so this effectively means we have the option of signing the 28-year old defender for free. In addition, he has taken a pay-cut in wages to facilitate the move.

There was concern of an injury for Mangala since he struggled with it at Everton where he was loaned last season. As such, the signing was contingent on the medical check-up which Mangala has now successfully completed.

Expecting left-back Jaume Costa signing from Villareal coming up soon with deal reportedly finalized also.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Europa league draw / Jeison Murillo joins Barcelona

Valencia got Celtic in Monday's Europa league draw, with the first leg in Glasgow on 14 February and the second at Mestalla 7 days later. There are no easy teams at these stages, but that's a winnable tie.

The loan of Jeison Murillo to Barcelona was confirmed today. He joins for €2 million with a buy option of €25 million. Murillo has only played three times this season: at home to Juventus and Celta and away to Ebro. While I disagree with the many fans who seem to view him as "our best defender" I don't really understand that transfer. With Garay's constant injuries and recent injuries to Gabriel and Diakhaby, why leave ourselves short in the defensive department?

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Nacho Gil and the international break

Valencia announced this week that Nacho Gil will join Elche on loan for the remainder of the season, however the transfer cannot go through until the transfer window opens again on 1 January. Gil has had a bit of a disappointing time at Valencia. He did well for the reserve teams, thought he deserved better, and submitted a transfer request (with Villarreal interested) in January 2017, which the club refused. Voro brought him on as a sub in a couple of games the following month, before dropping him. Marcelino brought him back into the set-up for a few Copa del Rey games and he also started on the left in the league away to Eibar and Las Palmas, before being loaned out to the latter. His time at LP was also a disappointment and he clearly hasn't made the grade at Valencia, so a loan with a view to moving him on permanently, seems to be the best option.

During the international break, Valencia took whatever players were not on international duty to Alcoyano for a friendly, winning 3-0 (highlights here.) Gameiro and Mina both did well and scored the first two goals but the best player was Ferran Torres, playing from the left, who capped off a great performance with a super goal.

The international break was a good one overall for Valencia players. Batshuayi scored twice for Belgium, Cheryshev scored for Russia in Turkey and for Spain, Rodrigo featured in both Nations league games and took full advantage of Costa's absence. Against England he provided an assist for the equaliser before scoring what turned out to be the winner and was widely praised for his performance, with some even naming him man of the match. Against Croatia he was overshadowed by a quality performance from Asensio, but still managed to slot home in a 6-0 rout. The other good thing in that game was at left back

with Gaya finally making his debut. He justified his selection with a solid performance, covering well in defence and contributing several quality crosses. He wasn''t the only debutant, Neto made his first appearance for Brazil, playing the full 90 minutes and keeping a clean sheet in a 5-0 win over El Salvador in the USA. Murillo also played all 90 minutes of a friendly for Colombia. Guedes was maybe the one who could be disappointed, as he was an unused sub in both Portugal games, but as he hasn't played a competitive match yet this season, it's understandable.

Valencia have a tough and critical week coming up. (Tough month actually.) First we welcome Betis to Mestalla on Saturday before opening up our Champions league campaign against Juventus, then finally going to Villarreal. Our start so far has been weak, but not disastrous: the results against Atletico and Levante were the same as we got last season, with the concern centring on the Espanyol defeat. However, we are only 2 points behind rivals like Sevilla, Betis, Bilbao and Sociedad and ahead of Villarreal, so can quickly make up ground if we start winning. So no need to panic yet, but if we do not get a win against Betis, alarm bells will start to ring. While they've made a few good additions in the summer, they remain weak at the back and Quique Setien's gung-ho approach is ideal for our counter attacking style, which is why we put 8 past them last season, so I expect a win.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Valencia sign Ricardo Campos / more on Guedes

Another addition to the ranks today. Valencia have added Ricardo Campos from Juventus under 19s.

He joins on loan for a season, with Valencia having the option to make it permanent for around a million euros. Campos is 18 years old and can play across the front line, but mostly plays as a right winger and occasionally as a second striker. He was a Benfica youth product before Pablo Longoria brought him to Italy in 2016. He enjoyed a great first season, scoring 10 goals in 20 appearances for Juve U-17, but spent most of last season on the bench. However, Longoria obviously judges him worth a second look and he'll likely be assigned to Valencia Mestalla for assessment and, with Soler, Ferran and Wass covering the right wing spot, will probably be limited to Copa del Rey appearances for the first team, if at all.

Further on Guedes, sources now say he will join on loan for the season, with Valencia then having an obligatory buy clause of 40 million, with a further 10 million in "achievable" add-ons and 7 million in "difficult to achieve" add-ons. Presumably the achievable add-ons will cover things like goals scored, appearances, maybe Valencia qualifying for Champions league etc and the difficult ones will possibly be similar to those of Andre Gomes' sale to FCB: winning La Liga, reaching Champs league semis, nominated for Balon D'or etc. (I'm speculating, since sources don't clarify what they are.) PSG don't have a buy back option as the player himself was adamant he didn't want this and he had burnt his bridges there anyway by refusing more lucrative offers from England. There's also been no mention in sources of PSG getting any % of a future deal.

Amid the euphoria, there have been some Valencia fans questioning the deal, based on Valencia's poor financial situation and the fact he faded in the second half of the season and had a disappointing world cup. With Valencia's net transfer spending in this window the 10th highest, it does put considerable pressure on the club to achieve top 4, as otherwise we're in for another "summer of 16" (Gomes, Mustafi and Alcacer sold) where we'll be selling at least 2 key players, and probably more, to balance the books.

Valencia have also announced they'll play a friendly on 5 September against Alcoyano of Segunda B. That's the day of the international break, so it will effectively function as a training match for those not on international duty. Lastly, Dynamo Kyiv overcoming a 3-1 deficit against Ajax tonight will provide Valencia with 1.108 million in Champs league prize money.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

News update

Firstly, a bit of news which passed us by last week. Valencia bought Jeison Murillo outright. We had until 30 June 2019 to exercise the compulsory buy under his loan deal. Murillo has always been well rated by fans but has found opportunities limited. He was out injured for 3 months last year and when he came back he was paired with Gabriel, as Garay was then injured. When the latter returned, Murillo was then dropped to the bench. It's pretty clear that Marcelino's preferred central defence duo is Garay and Gabriel and it now seems that Diakhaby may be the third choice as he was preferred for the Atletico game, with Murillo not even making the squad. So the timing of this one is a bit weird. But with extra games this season, hopefully Murillo will get his chance.

Superdeporte claim that Valencia are in negotiations to sign Lenny Pintor (Transfermarkt profile here) from France's second division. Pintor has just turned 18, plays as a left winger mainly but can also fit in on the right wing and as a secondary striker. This seems like another of Pablo Longoria's future investments and would be very much a depth/prospect type player along the lines of Uros Racic or Diakhaby. On the left wing, the Guedes saga drags on and for now it looks like no more than 50/50 that he'll join us. PSG are refusing to budge from their demand of 60-70m, a price beyond Valencia's means. A second loan seems out of the question. With the transfer window closing on 31 August, at least we'll know for sure soon. Alemany has said he is ready in case we don't get Guedes, so presumably we will have another left winger in mind apart from Pintor.

Similarly, despite continued links with Real Madrid, it looks unlikely that Rodrigo is going anywhere. While Lopetegui seems keen on bringing him, the Real Madrid fanbase and RM president seem unconvinced, especially since Alemany is insisting on the clause of 120m.

Rodrigo, along with Parejo, Gaya, Soler and Santi Mina is in Luis Enrique's preliminary list of 65 players for the forthcoming Nations League games. That list will be cut to 23, and Mina and Soler and probably Gaya at least would probably be among the players cut, but it's a sign that some of our talents are on the fringes and at least in the running.

Lastly, the final qualifying round of the Champions league is being played this week and next. This is the provisional situation

Valencia still need one of Benfica, Salzburg or PSV to be eliminated in order to make Pot 3 which would give us a better chance of an easier draw.. Last night's first leg results were:

RS Belgrade 0-0 RB Salzburg
Benfica 1-1 PAOK

PSV are strong favourites to go through and Salzburg in control, so our best chance seems to be PAOK beating Benfica. The draw for the group stage will take place next Thursday, 30 August. Time hasn't been confirmed but it's been at 18:00 Spanish time in previous years.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Denis Cheryshev rejoins Valencia

Valencia announced today that Denis Cheryshev will rejoin the club. It's a loan for this season and sources disagree on what will happen next summer, whether there's a buy option and whether it's compulsory or not.

The news came as a real surprise. All our previous signings had been linked well before, but this just dropped without warning. Just this morning the Valencian sports press were talking about Ivan Falque of Torino as a possible reinforcement on the left. Like the Gameiro signing this one will have its critics.

His previous loan with us at the start of 2016, during the ill-fated Gary Neville era shows the pros and cons. He played six games and did really well. He scored the late winner against Espanyol, ending a long winless run for us and scored a good equaliser against Atletico Madrid (though we went on to lose) with another winner and assist against Malaga. But he suffered a hamstring injury 6 weeks into his loan for us and a sub appearance against Villarreal would prove his last game, as he was operated on after that and Valencia didn't pursue his signing due to worries about his injuries.

Marcelino then took him to Villarreal where it's been a similar story. He missed 32 of 51 games in 2016/17 due to injury and 11 of 46 last year. His best moment came in the world cup: with 4 goals in 5 games he is widely agreed to be one of the best XI from that tournament.

So there's the issue. When he's fit, he's a great player with good pace, a good eye for goal and lots of experience in Spain, but he seems very injury-prone. However, this loan (signing?) seems to be in addition to Guedes rather than instead of him. It also reduces the pressure to secure a quick deal for Guedes. In the absolute worst case scenario and the Guedes deal falls through we have Cheryshev and Wass at least to cover the left wing. With Guedes, we'll have a decent and experienced alternative, so I'm mostly optimistic about this, especially since he's worked with Marcelino before.

What do you think? Good or could we have done better?

Monday, August 13, 2018

Gameiro versus Zaza / Medrán leaves

Valencia officially announced yesterday that a deal had been reached with Atletico Madrid to bring in Kevin Gameiro, subject to a medical which should prove a formality. Sources report the fee as being 16 to 16.5 million euros, with another 2 possible. The signing, together with the arrival of Batshuayi, strongly seems to suggest that Simone Zaza will leave. The only thing that I could see halting that would be if Real Madrid bought Rodrigo, and they've shown no signs so far of meeting the asking price.

Of all the signings this summer, Gameiro is easily the most controversial, especially as it's understood he'll be replacing Zaza, a fan favourite. Gameiro's age, his price and his unspectacular stats have led to questions whether this is worth it, especially since it means we are helping out a direct rival by taking a discard off their books. So why ditch Zaza?

The first answer would be that the latter's stats are even worse than Gameiro's. His first half-season for us was unspectacular. Then he hit a real purple patch in September and October last year, but since then he's been failing to hit the target, notching up only 4 goals in his last 29 appearances. In contrast, Mina scored 12 playing significantly less time. Of course, stats aren't everything. Zaza does a lot more for the team in general with hold up play, work rate, hassling defenders and even tracking back to help the defence. But the fact remains, if he'd continued scoring at a reasonable rate, we wouldn't be discussing this.

The clearest answer to the question therefore seems to be Marcelino's methods. He's consistently made it clear that he wants a harmonious squad and players with egos like Alves, Negredo, Nani and Orellana or those who demand constant playing time (Ryan or Medrán) have been quickly shown the door. Zaza seems to fit into both those categories. He clashed several times with Marcelino and there were a couple of games where he seemed to be sulking and not giving it his all.

Ultimately I have mixed feelings on that one. I can see why Marcelino has chosen to move Zaza on, but I'll miss him and I'm not excited by the replacement, who will have little resale value. The other issue is that by bringing in Gameiro before Zaza leaves, we have reduced our bargaining power for the latter, as teams now know that we will need to sell him. We shall have to see how Gameiro does.

Mentioning Medrán, he has joined Rayo Vallecano on loan for the season. With the midfield well stacked, and Kangin Lee now on the fringes, his chances would have been very limited. My only issue is that we should have just moved Medrán on permanently. The Rayo deal doesn't include any buy option. I would have put a compulsory one in, of between a million or a million and a half, subject to Rayo staying up. As it is, he will come back next summer in the last year of his contract and we likely won't get anything for him.

Lastly, to update the situation from my previous post about the Champions league. We need one of PSV, Salzburg or Benfica to lose in qualifying to achieve pot 3. Benfica are playing this week in Turkey, defending a 1-0 lead against Fenerbahce. In money terms, we need Benfica and Dynamo Kyiv to lose in qualifying as we will get 1.1 million extra for each of those eliminated.

A week to go to the first game and with Guedes likely, we look to have a decent squad.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Valencia sign Piccini

Valencia have announced their fifth signing of the summer transfer window.

Right back Cristiano Piccini joins from Sporting Lisbon for a fee somewhere between 7 million and 10 million euros (sources are unclear.) After starting his career in his native Italy, Piccini moved to Betis, where he spent 3 seasons, before joining Sporting last season, where he reportedly had a decent season.

It's no secret that the right back spot has been the one that Marcelino has been the most dissatisfied with this season, with Vidal dropped early on and Montoya only getting half the games with Vezo filling in most of the time. Valencia were interested in people like Meunier, Hateboer of Atalanta and Darmian of Manchester Utd, but all of them proved to be too expensive.

The reasons for going for Piccini seem clear enough. He's of the right age (will be 26 in September) has La Liga and Champions league experience and brings height to the team. Marcelino has been concerned that the club has been conceding goals from aerial balls from set pieces, while our defenders have offered little threat in the air from set pieces (Vezo scored the only such goal last season in the Copa.) Piccini, like Diakhaby, will add that height needed.

With his signing, it looks like Montoya will follow Vidal out the door. Negotiations are rumoured to be underway with Betis, with them offering 5 or 6 million and Valencia wanting 10m. If Montoya goes, then Piccini will be the main right back. It remains to be seen if another one will be signed. If not, Vezo, Paulista and Wass would be cover there.

We will see how this works out. My only thing with it is that if it is 10 million, we could've got a better price, especially by part-exchanging Nani, who went the other way. Still, it's good to see more movement this transfer window. Last year, by 10 August, the club had only signed Neto and Maksimovic. I guess at least 40 million to come from the Champions league helps speed things up.

Other transfer news is that Kangin Lee has signed a new contract, with his release clause being bumped up to 80 million in line with Alemany's strategy of protecting our promising youth players from vultures like FC Tourist of Catalonia or the premier league. Unfortunately, it didn't work with another youngster, Ferhat Cogalan. He refused the club's offer and has chosen to sign for Lille, with Valencia getting 150,000 for developing him.

No other news, just rumours.... the most likely is that Gameiro is still said to be coming. The club is still working to get Guedes, which may be on loan again. Possible interest in Andre Gomes returning, while Barcelona still maybe interested in Parejo. Lastly, with lots of defenders here now, Javi Jimenez may go out on loan to gain experience.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Remember Me ????

Aymen ABDENNOUR aged 28yrs

Cost  22,000,000 Euros  August 2015 from AS Monaco.

Where is he now ?   On loan at Olympic Marseille until 2019 but with an option to cancel in June 20018.

Is he playing well ?  The answer to that is NO.  He had a decent game in the middle of January 2018 against Strasbourg but was only playing regularly up to middle of December 2017.  It seems as though they will cancel his loan in June 2018 but he is still contracted here until June 2020.

So what now ?   So, we hope that maybe Marseille pick up some injuries and he can get back in the team. Maybe that could give him a chance of appearing in the World Cup for Tunisia which might boost his value, or of course he might play badly and nobody will want him.

Summary.   Looks like we will take a big hit on him whatever happens therefore we can just pray that there is somebody out there with loads of money who will take a chance on him, maybe China ??


Information from the club today suggests that the deal with Abdennour is that only if both parties agree he can be returned to Valencia this June.  He has stated he wants to continue with Marseille to prove himself.  So that means that if Valencia don't want to take him back he is obligated to remain in France for another season.
That of course poses the dilema that he will then only have one year left on his contract.  The gamble then is, do we take him back and hope to sell him this summer or do we force his stay in France and risk getting less or nothing back on a transfer in June 2019 which could also sour our relationship with Marseille.

Luis NANI aged 31yrs

Cost 8.5 million euros from Fenerbache July 2016.

Where is he now ?  On loan at Lazio until June 2018.  Contract at Valencia to June 2019.

Is he playing well ?  No not really.  Not playing regularly and doesn't seem to be impressing much.  Getting used for the final minutes perhaps to waste a bit of time when they are winning a bit like Alcacer at Barca.

So what now ?   He had refused an offer of going to China but maybe he will change his mind now as he will know, like Abdennour, that he has no future here. Hopefully gets picked for Portugal and can impress in World Cup but that looks unlikely with young players coming through and impressing.

Summary.   Another waste of money but who knows, maybe we can offload him for a small sum and save on his wages.  Would be very surprised to see him in our shirt again.

Joao CANCELLO 23yrs

Cost 15,000,000 from Benfica July 2015.

Where is he now ?   Inter Milan on loan with buyout clause of 35,000.000.

Is he playing well ?  You bet !   A real success story and it looks as as if Inter will pay the buy out option. He is not only playing regularly but very popular with the fans and management after a slightly troubled start. With Kondogbia and Murillo coming the other way a deal will hopefully be worked out to make everybody happy, including the FFP.

Summary.  At least a bit of good news. I don't think we should criticise too much the bad signings as all clubs take a  gamble when signing players and they don't always work out.

I am sure if I have got any facts wrong somebody will put me right.

So what do we think ?  Is there a place for Nani in the team. Abdennour ?  can we use him anymore ?

Some more faces next week

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The value of Valencia's players

Superdeporte today had an article on the increase in value of Valencia's players. Unhelpfully, the source material it's based on is only available in the print edition. Interested, I had a look through the two main sources. The CIES football observatory and Transfermarkt to get a rough idea of how much our players are worth now and produced the table below. The CIES data is slightly more recent, dating from 1 February, while Transfermarkt's is from 1 January. Values are in millions of euros.

CIES Transfermarkt
Guedes 36.3 40.0
Zaza 34.0 25.0
Soler 32.9 25.0
Rodrigo 23.0 25.0
Kondogbia 22.4 25.0
Mina 17.2 10.0
Gabriel 14.5 15.0
Parejo 14.3 18.0
Murillo 13.7 15.0
Gaya 13.4 25.0
Vietto 13.4 10.0
Pereira 11.9 7.5
Coquelin 11.7 12.0
Neto 10.8 10.0
Garay 9.4 15.0
Lato 8.0 8.0
Montoya 6.8 15.0
Maksimovic 5.9 2.0
Ferran Torres 5.2 1.0
Vezo 5.1 4.0
Vidal 3.3 2.0
Jaume Domen 2.0 2.5
Cancelo 17.2 20.0
Nani 4.8 7.5
Medran 3.3 2.0
Bakkali 2.9 1.8
Nacho Gil 2.8 0.3
Abdennour 2.5 4.0
Orellana 1.9 2.0
Santos 1.2 3.0

In most cases, both sites more or less agree on the player values, but there are some discrepancies. I'd tend to agree more with CIES on the value of Montoya and Ferran Torres and more with Transfermarkt on the value of Zaza and Gaya. The values of Soler, Mina and Maksimovich are somewhat in between the two.

The other take away from all this is that Valencia really can't expect to get much from players already loaned out. Cancelo is the main one that the club hopes to sell, but his 32 million buy option for Inter looks too high and the 20 million value looks more reasonable. For the rest, we are basically looking at loose change in relative terms. Nani could possibly fetch more if he agreed to go somewhere like China. He's rejected that idea before, but if a club came in with a crazy salary offer, it's doable.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Case of Rafa Mir

For those who don't know, the 20 year old Mestalla B striker's contract expires this summer (June 30) and the club has been in negotiations to renew, however all reports show that the negotiations are at a stumbling block. The club wants to renew but the player is not satisfied. Reports say he feels that the club does not have confidence in him. His points of contention are as follows:
  • He was the last of his peers (Nacho Gil, Nacho Vidal, Sivera and Sito) to be offered a contract
  • He feels the fans are against him since his signing was facilitated by Jorge Mendes. When he came on in the Champions League under coach Nuno, he was the outlet for the fan's anger and it followed him on social media. Insults, criticisms, etc. 
    • In fact, recently when he scored playing for Mestalla B, he celebrated by doing a celebration where he gestured to the crowd to zip their mouths and has been reprimanded for it.
  • Real Madrid's subsidiary is interested in him and he could get a better chance where they do bet on him
We have to remember the player is young and criticism does affect him (we saw Cancelo do something similar). Anyway, it would be a shame to lose him since he is on blazing form (15 goals in 17 games). He is the second top scorer in the Second Division. You might have noticed that he is not training with the first team anymore as well. That's because Marcelino's stance is that the player should solve his contract situation first and then he will let him back in. 

This month would be the crucial month to settle things, as the player is free to negotiate with other clubs on January 1st and would end up leaving for free in the summer. The club is still trying and meetings with his agent are being held this month by Elemany. Hopefully, it will break the deadlock but we'll see.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Copa Del Rey draw and other news

Valencia's opponents in the last 32 of the Copa Del Rey were drawn today. Our possible opponents were the La Liga sides not playing in European competitions and the five remaining Segunda Division sides, 4 of them in promotion or play-off positions with the exception Zaragoza, who are 18th and just outside the relegation positions. We got Zaragoza and therefore have potentially the easiest draw possible. Both clubs have history, Zaragoza bought Aimar and Ayala from us in 2006 but are in one of their worst periods historically. When the club got relegated from the top flight in 2013, they'd spent 53 of the previous 57 seasons in the top division but have yet to return and are now even flirting with dropping to the third level. I visited the Zaragoza stadium just last month, it's big enough, holding nearly 35,000

and the club has consistently had the best attendances in the division, averaging 15000-16000 so the atmosphere should be good but over 2 legs we should have no trouble. The first leg should be played around 25 October in La Romareda and the second at Mestalla around 29 November. 

Jose Alesanco was sacked as Valencia's sporting director last week. Alesanco had been appointed by outgoing President Lay Hoon back in February but like his predecessor, Garcia Pitarch, didn't really seem to do a lot. In recent times President Alemany and Marcelino have been the driving forces behind any transfers, so Alesanco was increasingly looking like the third wheel on the bicycle. Alemany said yesterday that no replacement sporting director will be appointed and that he and Marcelino will assume responsibility for transfers. He also said that there will be money available for transfers in January.

On to bad news. Javi Jimenez suffered a serious injury last week and will be out for 6 to 8 months. Jimenez got off to a bad start with the first team, suffering a poor performance in the Copa games in January against Celta, but has grown since then and had a good pre-season. With Marcelino keen on giving young players games, he'd probably have featured for the first team sooner rather than later. The knock-on effect of this is that Valencia's plan to sell Vezo in January must now be put on hold. Vezo is expected back from his injury about 5 weeks from now and should therefore have the rest of the season to prove his worth.

UEFA confirmed this week that the top four from Spain will now gain direct entry to the Champions league. Previously, the fourth team had to go through a potentially tricky final qualifying round tie, as Valencia had to do when we last qualified as the fourth team in 2015. Now, fourth will guarantee us a place in the group stage.

In UEFA competitions tonight, Bilbao, who we will play at the weekend, put out most of their first team and suffered a surprise home defeat against Ukrainian side Zorya Luhansk. That means that, after a good start to the season, Bilbao have now gone five games without a win, obviously good news for us.

Less good news from the UEFA side, though, is that us and Villarreal are under UEFA investigation due to suspicions of breaking their rules on signing underage players. Hopefully we'll be cleared as the punishments are no joke, a potential fine and/or ban on signing new players as has already happened to Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

Friday, January 20, 2017

How Will Zaza Do at Valencia?

Valencia recently acquired the services of one Simone Zaza. The former Juventus and West Ham player comes to us on a loan deal that cost us about 2 million, per Marca, and will cost us another 16 million if he plays 10 or more games for us. The Italian international striker has had difficulty logging minutes at West Ham because of a similar clause in his contract that West Ham didn’t want to activate it.

However, whether or not we keep and use him will depend on how well he plays for us and how well he fits into our system.

In his best years as a player, from Sassuolo from 2014 to Juventus in 2016, he excelled as a human battering ram. Tall, strong, fast, he excelled in harrying defenders and making runs in behind them, proving himself to be an unsettling man on the field. These qualities made him a super sub at Juventus, where he would be brought out late in the game to torture tired opponents.
Seeing as Rodrigo was doing a very similar thing here at Valencia, chasing down balls and making runs, it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch for Zaza to start leading the lines here. Our system asks for a striker with his MO.

His biggest weaknesses as a first division striker are his technical ability and finishing.

He doesn’t excel when opposing defenses don’t give him space to run in, and has difficulty dropping into the midfield, picking up the ball, and getting it out. Therefore, he likely won’t be very useful playing in a pair of strikers. The usual 4-2-3-1 formation will probably suit him best because he’ll be accompanied by the creative Dani Parejo, who’ll hopefully be able to slip him the occasional through ball for him to run on to.

His finishing also isn’t top notch. It’s good, and on Youtube you can find him scoring a few golazos, but a major criticism throughout his career has been his inconsistency in front of the goal. However, to be perfectly honest, Rodrigo and Santi Mina, for all their hard work, have unfortunately set a rather low standard in that department, so for all we know Simone could actually be an upgrade.

All in all, it seems that we bought a stronger, taller Rodrigo who wouldn’t be as comfortable on the wing. That said, given the shortage of good strikers on the market, if he works out, at 25 years old, he’d represent a fairly good deal for Valencia.

Will Simone do well at Valencia? Tell us what you think, and thanks for reading.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Sans Enzo Perez

On Monday’s game vs. Deportivo la Coruña, Enzo Perez was given his 5th yellow card of the season. Not wanting to risk going down to 10 men, Prandelli took him off soon after, replacing him with Alvaro Medran.

Medran has not played many minutes under Prandelli, but he showed what he had: Sharp, incisive passing, lots of youthful energy, although also a slightly off sense of positioning, both offensively and defensively. While attacking, sometimes it looked like he didn’t quite know where to be, wanting to be near the ball and affect play, but also wanting to create space. Defensively, he would sometimes run a little too hard and become overextended. resulting in him getting bypassed a little too quickly.

These issues might resolve themselves as he gets more game time. He certainly displayed a lot of potential last season at Getafe, and it might be unfair to try and project from the minutes played in Riazor.

In any event, Enzo Perez will not be able to play this weekend against Celta, so Prandelli has an interesting choice to make with the starting 11. Up until now, Perez has been an integral part of Prandelli’s scheme, making up the double pivot in the 4-2-3-1 alongside Mario Suarez. He has been key in playing the ball out from the back, due to Mario Suarez’s technical limitations. Perez's absence will need to be accounted for tactincally in Prandelli’s game plan.

Prandelli has a few options of how to set up for the next match against Celta.
The easiest option would be to simply put Medran in the double pivot with Suarez and continue the usual 4-2-3-1 with Parejo as the no. 10. On one hand, Medran would be very involved in build up play. Thanks to his dribbling and passing abilities, he would have no issue filling in for Perez on the attacking side of things. However, Medran is not very big, and Prandelli might be worried that he won’t bring the physicality needed for defending. Also, as mentioned before, Medran lacks good defensive positioning, which will not do against a team as fluid as Celta. Discipline will be required, and while Medran could be capable of this, it might be unwise to take that chance.

Another choice without changing the 4-2-3-1 layout would be to pull Parejo back into the double pivot and have Medran play as the no. 10. Parejo has played in a double pivot before, and he would be a more dependable player in both phases of play. Medran would have the freedom in attack to create, and his running could be used to press while defending. However, he's unfamiliar with the role as a pure 10, so Medran might be a little inconsistent as he gets used to the position.

Should Prandelli want to change formations, he could switch to a 4-1-4-1 formation, with Medran and Parejo side by side and Suarez behind them. This way, all three players would be in their preferred positions. However, this might be a departure from what Prandelli has been working on in practice, so he might decide against it so as to not stop the momentum he’s built in instituting his ideas.

The last viable option would be to switch to a 4-4-2, with Parejo in the double pivot and to start Santi Mina or Munir up top alongside Rodrigo, and to keep Medran on the bench. In terms of defensive structure, this would be much more closer to the 4-2-3-1, but it could result in Valencia being a little flat in attack, as they’d be lacking the extra player to help move the ball from the back to the front.

Prandelli definitely has a tough choice ahead of him, and it will be very interesting to see his decisions come Sunday.

Which setup do you think Prandelli should choose? Let us know in the comment section below.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Garay injured, Jaume renews

There's yet more bad news for Valencia (is there any other kind these days?) Ezequiel Garay has suffered an injury in training and will be out for 2 or 3 weeks. It couldn't come at a worse time, with Valencia facing a crucial set of 3 games in 8 days away to Bilbao, at home to Alaves and away to Leganes. Depending on his recovery time, he may also miss the game at home to Atletico Madrid on 2 October.

On a more positive note, Jaume Domenech has signed a new contract, committing to the club until 30 June 2022.