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

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Official: Kondogbia sold to Atletico Madrid

Valencia and Atletico Madrid have confirmed the transfer of Kondogbia to Atletico Madrid today. Kondogbia has already passed the medical joined up with his new team.

The player signs for 4 years with a reported fee of 15 million euros with Valencia reserving around 15% of a future sale of the player. For reference, Kondogbia arrived at Valencia in the 2018-19 season from Inter Milan for a fee of 22 million euros, having spent the prior season on loan at Valencia.

When Inter Milan made the sale, 20% rights to future sale of the player were included in the agreement. In this case, however, they would get nothing due to the condition on the previous clause. It only applies if the sale amount is a number greater than 25 million euros.


This signing came about after Arsenal activated Thomas Parey's release clause in the last moments of the transfer market and signed him from Atletico Madrid. To accommodate such late transfers, Atletico were allowed to make a signing despite the closing of the transfer window to everyone else. Kondogbia was interested either for the pay increase or the loss of hope in this project. Either way, he pushed for a way out and has missed the last few training sessions and fixtures with Valencia. His Instagram dig at Anil Murthy signaled the beginning of the end. 

So comes the end of the player's time at Valencia. He has been an instrumental part of the Valencia team with his great work rate and controlling presence in midfield. He was also part of the the team that won the Copa del Rey in 2018, Valencia's most recent trophy in their cabinet. 

Thank you to Kondogiba and best wishes with his new club as well as any future endeavors.


Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Official: Cristiano Piccini loaned to Atalanta

 The club has confirmed today through its website and social media accounts, the departure of Cristiano Piccini to Atalanta. 

The agreement between the clubs is a one-year loan with a purchase option at the end of it. The fee is reported to be around 3 million euros. Piccini arrived two seasons ago from Portuguese club Sporting CP for 8 million euros.

For many fans, the signing of Piccini did not accomplish it's intended goals. He was supposed to take over the right-back role thus addressing a previously vulnerable position for the team. However, his time in Valencia has seen him playing while struggling with injury, absent due to long-term injury or playing after a long period through recovery from injury. His injury has lead to Wass having a prominent role as right-back as well as the signing of Correia later on. With those two available and with Piccini being injury-prone, many would have wanted the club to push for an exit. He did play in parts of the pre-season games with Javi Gracia so there was some indication he could stay but it just wasn't to be. It remains to be seen whether a signing will be made in right-back or if Wass and Correia will be in charge of that position this season.

Piccini has sent a farewell letter to the fans in which he expressed appreciation for all the support, thanked his teammates and coaches, reveled in the Cup victory and provided some words of encouragement moving forward. Good luck to Piccini with his new team!

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Rodrigo Moreno leaves

 It seems to be confirmed that Rodrigo has officially left the club, signing for Leeds United, for a reported 30m plus a potential 10m more in objectives.

Rodrigo was always a divisive player. Signed for 30m in 2014 as part of Meriton's first season splurge, in his early years he was the poster child for Meriton's excesses and unhealthy association with Jorge Mendes' clients.

Usually played on the left of a 4-3-3, his goal rate was hugely disappointing. His first goal for the club came from the penalty spot at Getafe in late September. It would be 4 months before he scored again, his first from open play highlighting what he can do: intercepting near the halfway line, dribbling to the edge of the area and scoring from outside the box. In total he managed 4 goals in his first season, 7 in his second. The departure of Alcacer and Negredo in 2016 saw him moved more central and, somewhat unnoticed at the time, his rate picked up: 7 goals in 21 games before getting injured.

It took the arrival of Marcelino to boost him, with 19 goals that season in a 4-4-2 with Zaza, followed by 15 the following season. The latter included his only hat-trick for the club in the memorable comeback versus Getafe. At the end of the game he clashed with Getafe players and mocked them in revenge for similar gestures. He went on to score the winning goal in the cup final.

Last season he reverted to disappointing goal numbers: 7 in 34 games, though his assists record remained good. He also scored two crucial goals in the Champions league: the winners at Chelsea and Ajax.

Ultimately, as usual, I'm a little disappointed with the transfer figure. I know he's 29, but he is a Spain international and therefore I would have hoped for 40m at least. The big question is how the club will replace his link-up play between midfield and attack. Soler? Kang-In? Guedes? New signing?

Lastly, this is another sign for me of the decline of La Liga, something the league's overseers only have themselves to blame for as they concentrated too much money into two super-clubs (one of which is in clear decline.) It's hard to imagine newly promoted Cadiz signing an England international forward, yet the equivalent has happened. 

In previous transfer windows we seemed to leave things very late, even when we had cash to spare. We're now doing the same, as there are just two weeks until the return of La Liga, but from an even weaker position. Maybe the Rodrigo money can finally get things moving? Cillessen is said to be next out the door.

Anyway, good luck to Rodrigo with his new club








Thursday, August 13, 2020

Official: Javi Jimenez loaned to Albacete BalompiƩ

The exit operations for Valencia continue with the announcement that Mestalla B defender Javi Jimenez has been loaned to Albacete BalompiĆ© for the duration of the 2020-21 season.


Despite having recently renewed his contract with Valencia until 2022, Javi Jimenez was not part of the 31 players summoned by Javi Gracia for the preseason. It seems like he wasn't even given a chance with the new coach. Seeking to get some minutes under his belt, a loan deal was established with Segunda division team Albacete BalompiĆ©. Other offers included teams like Castellon and Lugo. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Official: Dani Parejo signs for Villareal

 Villareal and Valencia have both officially announced the transfer of Dani Parejo to Villareal. This is the second transfer in a row to Villareal with Coquelin's signing announced earlier.

Parejo's contract with Valencia has been rescinded and as such goes to Villareal on a free transfer. The deal will see him play for Villareal for the next three years.

Parejo has been a player that has often divided fans during his 9 years at Valencia. Many point to his contribution from midfield in build-up play as well as goals, scoring 65 goals in 381 games. Commentators and pundits often refer to him as the key player or main man at Valencia before any European games. He helped guide Valencia to their their first trophy in over a decade, with the Copa del Rey victory last season. He also earned himself a short spell with the Spanish National team as a result of his performances.

On the other side, many talk about his inconsistency when discussing his negatives. This has certainly become more prevalent towards the latter half of his time at Valencia. With recent drops in Valencia performance, he would get his fair share of the blame for being nonchalant, slowing down play too much or, even more recently, for squad conflict. His loyalty to the previous coach, Marcelino, has been a big part of that conflict since he made it clear that he disagreed with the decision to sack him. 

A free transfer is outrageous by any stretch of the imagination, especially for a player with 2 years left on his contract, the captain of the club, a central piece in the team and someone who is a capped Spanish International player. 

Regardless of which opinion people hold, his positive contributions to the team are undeniable. At his best, he provided much needed control and level-headedness in midfield. He also deserves a lot of credit for persevering with the club all this time even under constant criticism and blame. He could've left much earlier with offers from Sevilla and Atletico Madrid being reported but ultimately stayed to help the team.

Good luck to Parejo on this new chapter of his career and beyond!

Official: Francis Coquelin Signs for Villareal

Villareal has completed the signing of Francis Coquelin. The news has been made official by both club's through statements on their social media and websites.

The transfer fee was reportedly 6.5 million euros + 2 in potential add-ons depending on performance and objectives. This is around half of the 14 million euros that Valencia paid to purchase the player from Arsenal in 2018.

Coquelin was a excellent player and an exemplar of great work ethic, giving his all every game. He has definitely added to the team during his time here with his defensive ability in midfield and by adapting to various positions to meet the needs of the club. He will most certainly be a great addition to Villareal as well. Good luck to him! 

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Ferran Torres joins Man City

Well, the news was made official 1 hour ago. The first departure of what could be a long and depressing transfer window. 



Ferran Torres has joined Manchester City. Few eyebrows will be raised at that, as it's only been a matter of time, however the transfer fee for one of the club's biggest talents in years is gutting: 23 million euros, with a paltry 5 million more possible in bonuses. With a year left on his contract and him refusing to negotiate, the club had very little wiggle room. Hopes of a bidding war didn't materialise, with only Manchester City in for him in the end. 

For that pittance, I'd almost have been tempted to keep him and just let him go for free next summer, there's very little we'd be able to buy with 23 million.



Friday, June 26, 2020

Player discontent with Celades growing

Various stories are coming through that Celades has lost the dressing room and the respect of the players after a number of incidents.

The first situation seems to have been with Diakhaby. Following his last game, Diakhaby said that he'd had a productive chat with the coach, something which the coach confirmed at the time. However, later Celades was more critical of the player, blaming him (not without justification) for costing the team 2 points. Worse, commentator Pichi Alonso released a story saying that "club sources" had told him that Celades had met with Diakhaby, shown him a video of his errors and this had ended with Diakhaby leaving the meeting in tears. Diakhaby, through L'Equipe, flatly denied this. The bigger problem was that the feeling was that the leak could only have come from Celades, meaning that he was backstabbing his players. While Diakhaby will have little sympathy among Valencia's fanbase, things like this will seriously undermine the trust of players in the coach.

The second blow-up was with Maxi Gomez. Following the Osasuna game, Maxi got frustrated with the coach, asking why he was always the first subbed off. Discussions became so heated that allegedly Maxi aimed a headbutt at Celades and had to be restrained. He turned up at the next training session in apologetic manner, but was given a cold shoulder by Celades and told to go home, further angering him.

After being told that Maxi wouldn't feature in future games, other members of the squad got angry, seeing him as a key player. Ferran Torres posted a message of support for Maxi on Instagram.

The club's captains met with sporting director Cesar Sanchez reaching agreement that Maxi would not be ostracised and would instead be fined. However, the mood following the meeting didn't seem to improve. Kondogbia posted on Instagram shortly afterwards: "¿El traidor? Es como una serpiente, pica y se esconde…" (The traitor? It's like a snake, it bites and then hides...") a message which seems to be aimed at the coach.

Celades' substitutions in general seem to be causing frustration. Guedes was visibly angry after being subbed off while having his best game of the season versus Osasuna. Another player who seems to getting annoyed is Ruben Sobrino. 4 of his last 6 appearances have seen him play 1 minute (twice), 2 minutes and 4 minutes. While Sobrino is below the level Valencia need, the player seems to be arguing, not unreasonably, that such brief cameos are pointless, as he has no chance to prove himself and make an impact on the game. His annoyance came to the fore in the Osasuna game, when the manager sent him out to warm up with 86 minutes played. Sobrino, given all the previous, got angered and Celades responded by not bringing him on.

Of course, a contrary opinion to this could be that the players should simply man up and accept the coach's substitute decisions. If it were one or two players, this would go fine, however annoyance seems to go throughout the squad now, with numerous players at odds with the coach. That never ends well. When I wrote my review of the season a few posts ago I said that Celades would probably be in the hotseat after the summer. Not only does that look unlikely now, there are serious questions over whether he can even make it to the end of the season. The team plays without direction, Celades' subs often don't make sense and the below par performances from the players are probably affected by growing dislike of the coach. Champions league is out now and even Europa starts to look like a struggle. Hopefully the owner will draw the necessary conclusions and hire an experienced coach to take us forward.

***Edit/update*** Stories that Celades offered his resignation to the club last night, but this was turned down. His days seem to be numbered.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Garay explains his position

Garay has just released an emotional video on Instagram (here, in Spanish) in which he explains his side of his contract renewal situation.

He claims that the assertion that he refused a decent sized salary is false, with the only offer made during the Marcelino time and substantially less than what he currently receives. He says that he has always wanted to renew with the exception being for a short period of a few weeks after Marcelino's sacking when he wanted to see how things would develop.

He says that since his injury, the club has made no new offers, apart from suggesting that if he took a bigger salary cut than the rest of the squad this would help his case.

He looks very stressed, really annoyed and at one point, on the verge of tears, saying that he's sick of being misrepresented on this issue.

Despite all that, clubs generally look really unfavourably on such uses of social media, so I would say that this had definitely sealed his fate and he has kicked his last ball in a Valencia shirt.

The question now is who replaces him. The club's defensive planning has been poor for some time. Given his vulnerability to injuries, having 4 defenders has clearly not been enough and there have been various times during the last few seasons when other players have had to plug the gap, Coquelin most notably. The signing of the even more injury prone Mangala just made things worse and this is clearly one of several areas where the club needs to invest in. They also need to blood a fifth defender (Javi Jimenez?) who can step in when needed.

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?

***edit/update***
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:

BATE 2-3 PSV
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?