Showing posts with label official transfers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label official transfers. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Valencia get Mamardasvhili on loan

 Valencia have confirmed the addition of goalkeeper Giorgi Mamaradasvhili from Dinamo Tbilisi on a one year loan. He's a bit of an unknown and I haven't been able to find out much on him other than that he's 20 years old and highly rated, but La Liga is obviously a significant jump in quality from the Georgian league, which is ranked 40th out of 55 by UEFA.


It's unclear where he'll fit in, he appears to be too highly rated to spend much time with the reserves but this addition would seem to confirm that we're going to have changes in the goalkeeping department, though as I already wrote, Cillessen's departure is somewhat more complicated by his absence from the Euros. 

If there is one good thing from this, it's that the club are, for once, getting some transfer activity done early, rather than wait until the last minute as is usual. Bordalas can therefore assess him in training. It's also unclear what buy option if any we have on him. I'll update if it is announced.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Jose Bordalas becomes Valencia CF coach

Jose Bordalas is Valencia CF new coach. The club has reached an agreement with Getafe CF and the coach for his arrival at Valencia CF on a two year deal plus an option to extend his contract a 3rd season. The club has also negotiated with Getafe CF for the release of the coach without a fee, but they've demanded a player or the removal of the 30% ownership clause from Maksimovic that VCF have. So far its unclear what the exact agreement is. The most likely option is that Valencia CF will loan a player to Getafe CF for one season with an option to purchase that player at the end of the season. That player is most likely Jason, but could be anyone really. 

In terms of Jose Bordalas and Valencia CF, the coach agreed a 2 year deal with Valencia CF with the option of one more year. 

Not my number one choice, but truth be told the options this season were limited and we would never get a good coach like Rafa Benitez back with Lim at the helm, so its the best of the rest. Best coach from the bottom half, half glass full type of deal. Now we have no choice but to stand by the choice and support him for the good for the club. He is definitely not a bad coach, he is defensively sound and plays a rigid type of game. If he can continue with the Voro fix in defense and have the team solid defensively we can maybe win games on the counter through Guedes, Yunus, Soler, etc... I'm expecting Kang-In Lee to leave BTW, because the chances of extending his contract are slim. If we do keep him for one more season and he gets a good amount of playing time, he might reconsider, but that is a very long shot.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Official: Valencia sign Christian Oliva on loan

Valencia completed their 4th transfer signings of the window by signing Cagliari midfielder Christina Oliva on loan. Unlike the signings of Cutrone and Ferro, this deal includes a non-binding purchase option.

Rumors are they could still be one more signing, depending on if an outlet can be found for one more player (either Mangala or Jason Remeseiro). It is said to be difficult though as the players are not looking to leave.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Valencia sign Ferro on loan, Sobrino leaves

Like buses, nothing for a while and then two at once. Valencia's second signing, loan of course, is Ferro from Benfica, who joins until the end of the season with the option to prolong the loan by another year. 


I've mentioned that I;ve seen Cutrone and don't expect much from him: unwanted at Milan, Wolves and Fiorentina, but I think this guy has better potential. He played most of the games for Benfica last season, including 4 of the Champions league group games, so he has reasonable experience and with the injury to Diakhaby, Mangala forever injured, Paulista injury prone and Guillamon a diamond in the rough, it will help to have an extra option in defence.

_________________________

A defensive midfielder, Oliva from Cagliari is said to be the third and final addition. At least we've seen some moves this window.

Balancing these additions is one exit. Ruben Sobrino joins Cadiz until the end of the season. Sobrino joined us exactly two years ago today from Alaves for the head scratching sum of 5 million. It always looked like a panic buy to pay so much for a guy who had managed just 6 goals in 48 league games there. He did have a false dawn at the club, having an amazing debut at Celtic in the Europa league scoring and providing an assist in a 2-0 win, but that would be the only goal of the season. That remained the pattern: a solitary goal, a valuable one, to earn a late draw against Sevilla last season and then a goal at Yeclano in the cup this year. He's clearly surplus to requirements and Cutrone is an upgrade on him at least.




Official: Valencia sign Patrick Cutrone on loan

Valencia have officially announced the signing of Patrick Cutrone on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers FC until the end of 20/21 season. The deal is a pure loan, meaning there will be no purchase option. This Valencia's second signing of the transfer window with Piccini returning to the club last week.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Official: Cristiano Piccini returns from loan

 Valencia have made it official through their website and social media that they have reached an agreement with Atalanta to cut-short the loan of Piccini and have him return to Valencia. Piccini was set to stay for 1-year with the Italian club with a possible 3 million euro purchase option but they have barely used him in their games. With the player desperate to return and Valencia looking for low-cost reinforcements, the transfer was complete.

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.


Monday, October 5, 2020

Transfer Market Closes: Disaster for Valencia

The transfer market has officially closed and it can only be summed up as an absolute failure for Valencia.

Upon Javi Gracia's signing for the club, he was made aware of the plans to cut down on expenses which meant finding other destinations for players with significant salaries, as well as those whose sales can fetch a good price. He was also promised that this was a necessary action but (cheaper) signings will be made to fill the gap and reinforce the squad. Javi Gracia evaluated the team and thought he needed around 5 signings, 3 certain - a central defender, a central defensive midfielder and a right-back, and 2 conditional - a goalkeeper (if Cillissen leaves) and a forward (if Gameiro leaves). 

Murthy had made public that there was a lack of liquidity at the club and that sales had to made to balance the budget, especially with COVID's impact on ticket sales and revenue. What was also made public was a "blacklist" of players that Valencia was willing to offload in the transfer market. With these two pieces of news, other clubs knew it was a bargain sale at Valencia.

Garay had already left as the club didn't renew his contract in the previous season. Ferran left to Manchester City for 25 million euros plus bonuses. Parejo went to Villareal free of charge while Coquelin followed to the same destination for 12 million euros. Rodrigo would return to the Premier League with Leeds for a 30 million euro fee. These were core players for the team in previous season. Additionally, Jaume Costa returned to Villareal, Piccini was loaned to Atalanta and Florenzi wasn't renewed. 

Arriving to Valencia were players returning from there loans like Racic, Jason Remeseiro, and Toni Lato. To cope with the shortage of players, Javi Gracia gave Guillamon, Yunus Musah, Alex Blanco and Esquerdo game time with the first team. 

After three weeks in charge and slightly before the first game of the season against Levante, Gracia made his thoughts clear in the press conference that he was losing confidence in the managements ability to deliver quality signings, if any. This drew some anger from Anil Murthy who reportedly stormed out of a meeting between the two of them. The communication between the two, at least with regards to transfers, stopped completely after that. Javi Gracia took the word of the management and refused to comment further in press conferences.

 A few rounds into the new season and the weaknesses as well as the lack of depth in the squad become evident. Even in games that the team would walk away with a positive result, the team looked vulnerable. 

Recently, even the Mestalla B team had transfers out of the club. Javi Jimenez was loaned at the beginning of the window to Albacete. This last week Alex Carbonell was let go on a free transfer to FC Luzern with percentage reserved on future sales. Alex Centelles, free transfer, to Almeria also with a percentage reserved on future sale. It looks likely that Esquerdo will also be on the way out, with Almeria the most likely destination.

A lot of fans figured that, similar to previous years, transfers would likely come at the very last few days of the window. They watched as the club failed to secure player after player with which they have been linked. 

Now that the transfer market has closed, Javi Gracia got nothing. He was lied to, left in the cold, abandoned, betrayed, deceived. It seemed like he as figured as much from his demeanor.

Now, Plazadeportiva reports that Gracia has requested a meeting with Murthy and is seriously considering resignation. Previous coach Prandelli had the patience to wait 3 months for the club to get its act together, Gracia is fed up already.

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 Balompié

The exit operations for Valencia continue with the announcement that Mestalla B defender Javi Jimenez has been loaned to Albacete Balompié 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 Balompié. 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!

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.



Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Guillamon renews until 2023

Finally, after the doom and gloom of late, we have some very good news, first mentioned in the comments by our contributor Kuku.

Hugo Guillamon has signed a 3-year contract extension, until 30 June 2023.


His release clause is set at 80 million euros. Guillamon, of course, broke into the first team after the restart in a position where Valencia were badly in need of players with Garay leaving and Mangala and Diakhaby proving error-prone. It's a much needed boost to the back line, as he was out of contract and Villarreal were reported to be interested.

Meanwhile, the search for the new coach rumbles on. After the resignation of the previous sporting director, chief scout Miguel Angel Corona is now taking a more prominent role. A rumour on Twitter (here) is that he has proposed the options of Bordalas and Javi Gracia to Lim, with Ruben Baraja as a plan C. Mendes, in contrast, has proposed the options of Laurent Blanc and Leonardo Jardim. Of those, I'd probably go for Jardim, as he has good international experience, has worked well with young players and generally favours a more attacking style.

However, the way of doing it just shows the problems with the club. Why is Lim taking such a prominent role at all? Has he consistently demonstrated his footballing acumen? Obviously not. On the contrary, it seems that what he knows about football management could be written on the back of a postage stamp. In other clubs there would be a competent sporting director who makes this choice and then the owner simply rubber stamps it. Of course, Valencia being Valencia, we don't even have a sporting director. The involvement of Mendes is also worrisome. While Jardim interests me, there would be the suspicion that he would just be Mendes' inside man, so that Mendes could use the club as a shop window for his prospects, most of whom seem to come from his c-list rather than his top table. It is expected that the new manager will be appointed by next week, possibly Monday, as the club will return to training on 10 August.



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.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Close of the transfer window near

The close of the transfer window is imminent. Barring any late surprises, it's a transfer window that went past without any major departures to annoy the fans. Neto left after an apparent fall-out with Marcelino, but was replaced by Cillessen, who most of us regard as an upgrade. Santi Mina left and was replaced by Maxi Gomez, who the jury is still out on, as it's too early to say. Valencia also picked up several young players: Jorge Saenz, Salva Ruiz, Manu Vallejo and Jason, as well as making Cheryshev's loan permanent and bringing in Costa and Mangala on loan. Other departures were limited to unwanted players: Abdennour, Vezo and Murillo.

There are 3 last day movements.

Thierry Correia joins from Sporting Lisbon, covering Piccini's 5-month injury lay-off. As recently as yesterday, there had been talk that no one would join to cover, which seemed a high risk, with no natural right back there. The question mark will be about the price, with Valencia paying 12 million (with another 3m in variables possible) and giving him a 100 million release clause.


The club had tried to sign Hysaj, a more established player, but Napoli played hardball and ultimately, Valencia was unwilling to go to 20 million or beyond. Correia has done well with Portugal youth teams, but has very few club starts. Labelled as the "new Cancelo" time will tell whether he lives up to his promise or proves to be an ill-advised panic buy. Valencia has, of course, been weak at right back for some time and none of the recent holders (Barragan, Montoya, Vezo, Nacho Vidal, Cancelo or Piccini) did that well there. 12 million represents a significant gamble and it remains to be seen whether he can step up to the challenge of La Liga and UEFA CL.

Next are two departures, both slightly surprising. Jason joins Getafe on a season's loan. With Valencia weakened on the right by the injuries to Piccini and Soler, I would have expected him to stay.

Even more surprisingly and a bit ruthlessly, Salva Ruiz' return to Valencia proved short-lived. Just 9 weeks and a day after he returned, the club cancelled his contract and he joins Deportivo Corunya, with Valencia having a percentage of any future sale.

Those departures mean that three of the four young players who joined us in the summer have left, with only Manu Vallejo remaining. It all seems badly planned and a bit of a scattergun approach.

***Update*** Having failed to find a club for him during the transfer window, Valencia cancelled Alvaro Medran's contract. It would have expired next summer anyway so either way the club wasn't going to get any transfer fee for him.

Overall, no major departures, and a net spend of 56 million euros, though 35 of that comes from Cillesen's buy, with the Neto money going into last season's account. Despite that, I think most of our fans will be fairly frustrated by this window. We were strongly linked with Rafinha and Denis Suarez, both of whom have joined Celta. Other names like Mariano Diaz, Hysaj, Angel Correa and Otamendi caused interest, but ultimately came to nothing, though many will be relieved that Mendes players like Andre Silva or Radamel Falcao didn't join.

Rodrigo, as always, will remain a divisive figure. Many of our support were happy that he was leaving, and 60 million seemed a good price. Yet, even though the deal seemed to be done it didn't happen. There was always the question of who would replace him and worry about the effect on the team if he left so late in the transfer window, after the season start.

The biggest issue is that all of our rivals, both the big three and the fourth placed contenders, have strengthened, and therefore, by staying still, Valencia slips behind in relative terms. The mini-civil war that the club had in the summer seems to have had its effects and they're not good for Valencia. We can only hope that players like Correia, Maxi Gomez and Manu Vallejo do fulfil their promise.

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.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Valencia sign Maxi Gomez / Mina and Abdennour leave

Valencia have made official the signing of Maxi Gómez. 

He joins on a 5-year contract with a 140 million release clause. Valencia identified the player as a signing back in April and hoped to get the deal done in time for the transfer window opening, but Celta delayed in order to see if he did anything at Copa America and then strong competition from West Ham, who were offering at least double the salary that we were, led to a drawn out transfer saga which has thankfully been resolved in our favour. As part of the deal Santi Mina leaves and rejoins Celta with Jorge Saenz also going there on loan and Valencia paying 14.5m, with a possible 1.5m more performance related. 

I called last year for Maxi to be signed, 

so I'm really happy about this signing.

There are a surprising number of our fans who seem to be against this. The main arguments seem to be
  •  Mina has better stats
  • The cost is too much, we'd have been better signing Borja Iglesias
  • Gomez doesn't do so well without Aspas
I think the cost is a fair price and as for Mina vs Maxi comparisons, those need to be seen in the context of Celta being fairly rubbish the last few seasons. Apart from Aspas, Pione Sisto and Wass were the only players capable of supplying chances. At Valencia he will have Guedes, Parejo, Soler etc providing chances. Time will tell, but after the Batshuayi fiasco the club has gone for a player proven in La Liga and the only players who have scored more in the last two seasons are Messi, Luis Suarez, Griezmann, Aspas and Stuani, all of whom are too old or unattainable. The fact that he has turned down a much bigger wage in England is a positive sign and already wins him points in my book.

The slight negative in this is the loss of Santi Mina, who'd proved himself a useful third option up front in recent times. Mina joined us at the start of July 2015 having impressed with Celta, leading Valencia to pay his buy-out clause of 10 million, with Mina refusing a new contract in order to sign for us, something which annoyed Celta fans as much as Alcacer's exit annoyed ours. Mina's early times at Valencia were really disappointing. Used up front either on the right or left of a 4-3-3 he struggled to make an impact and it wasn't until his 14th game that he scored, hitting a late equaliser against Barcelona. He repeated the feat later that season, scoring the winner at Barcelona, capping off a 22-pass move. (Incidentally, it got lost in the euphoria, but Valencia's first in the Copa final came after a 16-pass move, when it comes to tika-taka, Valencia can beat Barcelona at their own game.) That season also saw his best game in a Valencia shirt, scoring two and assisting three in a 6-0 rout of Vienna in Europe. He also scored what I think was one of his best, sprinting the length of the pitch to score the winner at Granada.   

Despite that, his stats and performances remained disappointing until the arrival of Marcelino. Like Rodrigo, he benefitted from playing more central, improving his performances and scoring more frequently, even overtaking Zaza in the pecking order at the end of 2017-18. However, last season saw him behind either Batshuayi or Gameiro to partner Rodrigo and ultimately it's understandable that he wants to head back to his boyhood club where he'll be guaranteed starter.

Lastly, the week just gone saw the departure of Aymen Abdennour. He arrived at Valencia on the back of strong performances with Monaco for 21.8 million as the replacement of Otamendi. It quickly became apparent that he was nowhere near that level as a series of horror shows gifted goals to opposition teams. It didn't help that his defensive partner was often the equally useless Aderllan Santos and together they made up what was probably Valencia's worst defensive duo this century. After 29 appearances in his first season, he saw injuries in his second but was gradually phased out under Voro. The only time he ever looked remotely useful was under Prandelli, but that was because there was a back three with Garay cleaning up after him. Valencia loaned him out to Marseilles, hoping to get back at least half of what we paid, but he also flopped there and in the end the club has just cut its losses and let him go to Kayerispor of Turkey on a free. Thus ends one of the worst signings of recent years. I think the signing of players like Gomez instead of such costly flops shows the progress the club has made. 




Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Murillo leaves / Maxi Gomez deal close

Jeison Murillo's time at Valencia is at an end. We signed him as one of the centre backs for the 2017/18 campaign and he had a fair few starts in the early months, playing 8 of the 12 games after he signed before getting injured for 3 months.


When he returned he got a few games, but that was because Garay was injured and by that point, Garay and Gabriel were Marcelino's main choices. In 2018/19 he was mostly sidelined, playing in the home games against Juventus and Celta before playing his final game in the Copa at Ebro. He then joined Barcelona on loan as part of a joke with his agent. Sadly, it also didn't work out for him as he played just 1 full league game, another as a late sub and a couple of games in the Copa. The deal takes him to Sampdoria on loan, with them paying 2 million, which will mostly cover his wages. They then have an obligatory buy of 13.5 million. Many of us wanted him to stay as one of four defenders but given that Marcelino clearly doesn't count on him, this is for the best and at least Valencia make a small profit of 1.5 million on the deal.

The other news is that the long drawn out saga of Maxi Gomez seems to be over. Valencia first expressed their interest in late May but Celta understandably decided to wait until Copa America was over on the off-chance that his value would rise. It didn't as he didn't play but when the tournament finished, West Ham had renewed their interest in signing a player that they first tried to get in January. While Valencia seemed the obvious choice, due to language and Champions league football, West Ham were able to put a much higher salary on the table. That a club that finished 10th, never gets near Champions league football nor challenges for anything is able to do that is a serious indictment of La Liga's lousy financial model in the last decade that has allowed C-list English clubs to outbid us.

Just yesterday, it seemed that West Ham had won the race but, credit to Celta, they were more interested in honouring their agreement with us and maintaining good relations than chasing the money. Of course, their motives are not all altruistic, they regain Santi Mina and get Jorge Saenz on loan for 2 years as part of the expected deal. I think this will be good business for Valencia when confirmed.

There are still many questions to be answered. Will Rodrigo and Piccini stay? If not, who replaces? Who will be the fourth defender? Who will Valencia sign as Parejo's understudy, if anyone? Who will take remaining unwanted players (Abdennour, Medran, Nacho Gil, Sobrino etc) off Valencia's hands? Plenty to do, but I think the Murillo and Gomez deals would be a good step forward.