By Jasmit Jabbal
The yellow submarines’ preparations for the upcoming season have been under the radar as Real and Barcelona steal the headlines.
However there has been some significant movement at the El Madrigal, but other than the shrewd acquisition of Zapata (Udinese), most of it has been players leaving. Santi Cazorla has left for the Malaga revolution, Capdevilla has moved to Benfica and it seems Rossi is certain to secure a big money move to Juventus.
So who should Villarreal bring in to replace the 36 goal Rossi void?
Canales seems to be on his way in on loan to add creativity now that Cazorla has left. Canales has immense potential and after a season on the side lines at the White House, he will be eager to kick start his career. But the team from Castellón will need to bring in a striker if they are to consolidate their top four finish.
Money should not be a major obstacle, as Juventus seem willing to pay upwards of €30 million for American born hot-shot Rossi, but the club will want to invest to add to other areas of the squad, notably a quality full back and a creative midfielder. If Canales mooted loan deal goes through, that should live the team in yellow around €15 million to purchase a striker for. So who is available?
If Villarreal want to make a long-term investment, with sell-on value, they could go for Arsenal misfit Nicklas Bendtner. He will bring Champions League experience, and will be accustomed to Villarreal’s fluent style. However, it seems unlikely that Bendtner will ever be a 20 goal a season striker, and with a price tag of around €13 million, he could prove to be an expensive gamble.
Another option could be to bring Forlan back. A crowd favorite, proven goal scorer who has played for the club before, Forlan has flourished at Atletico Madrid. However, after a dismal season last year, a return “home” may be just what the recent Copa America winner may need. Madrid is keen to sell, but with a price tag of around €10 million for a player who may only be able to give a couple of years of service at the top may not be an investment the yellow submarines can afford to make.
So, who can provide value for money, has proven ability, and has sell-on value? With the market devoid of the quality of yester year, big clubs are all paying well over the odds to buy the next big thing, making it more and more difficult for clubs like Villarreal. How can Rossi and Aguero, proven goal scorers with the best yet to come, go for around the same price as the deals for Neymar and Lukaku are being mooted? The perfect signing for Villarreal would be Llorente from Bilbao, he is young, has experience of playing in La Liga, and should cost around €15 million. The promise of Champions League football, and a reasonable minimum fee release clause may give Llorente the view that a couple of seasons at Villarreal playing in the elite club competition may, as it has for Forlan and Rossi, pave the way to a big money move.
With just over a month to go, Garrido has better get to work.