The pre-season is underway! Even though the club has preached throughout the week the need to enjoy the Europa League trophy and Villarreal’s only title to date, management and Emery are already working on the ins and outs of strengthening the team for an amazing, exciting, demanding season with up to four competitions to be played.
As Managing Director Fernando Roig Negueroles told local radio earlier this week, “Our transfer objectives, and the budget that goes along with it, changes every day or so.” Transfer targets come into frame, stay or go, are impacted by other transfers around it, and the need to adapt, pivot constantly, and have several options at all times is as present as ever. This is true especially at a time where clubs are financially unable to make big splurges in cash for other players. At the same time, those clubs understand that this season is probably one of the worst summers to sell, with everyone strapped for cash, and fans unable to fully access the stadiums and bring revenue.
At Villarreal News, we bring you the compilation of what we have been capturing through local news in the past weeks, so that you don’t skip a beat. Today, we will discuss the players on the way out. If you are interested in what Villarreal is thinking about doing this summer, read on!
The list of people who are leaving Villarreal is probably the most straight-forward of all segments of the transfer window of the Yellow Submarine: there are two players leaving the club, and anything beyond that is not about to be confirmed.
First, we say goodbye to Jaume Costa. Jaume has spent over ten years in Vila-real, and with his contract running out, the decision has been made to see him go. Jaume, who actually just got married this week, is approaching the end of his career, and at a time where the left side of the defense is overbooked with Pedraza, Alberto Moreno and Estupiñan, it only makes sense that he go and try to get minutes elsewhere.
Personally, I feel as Jaume was an exemplary player and member of the team, even playing in unnatural positions when needed, and understanding his impact in the team would come more as a leader than a player. He has played over 300 matches between Villarreal B and the first team, and is one of few players left who was here with the team in the Second Division, and got to lift the Europa League trophy last week.
An amazing journey and we wish him the best. Chances are he will stay in Spain, and some teams, like Levante, are rumored to be interested.
Carlos Bacca is the other player leaving this season, as the Colombian striker had one more year left in his contract, but club and player have come to an agreement for Villarreal to pay out roughly 250,000 Euros to cancel out that last year, let Bacca leave with his contract under his arm, and find a new replacement.
Bacca has spent four seasons at Vila-real, and I would say his performance was good, not great. His numbers were not as consistent on average as they were at AC Milan, Sevilla or Brugge. However, through ages 30 to 34, I would say 43 goals in 144 matches is a good tally. Bacca had sporadic, great performances like the most recent hat-trick against his beloved Sevilla, and he leaves first-tier soccer lifting his third Europa League.
There are rumors of Carlos joining teams like Boca Juniors in South America, or even some interest from Levante as well, but in the end the Colombian will make a decision that makes him most happy, as nearing his 35th birthday this summer, his better playing days are behind him.
Some outlets are reporting on the possibility of Carlos Peña leaving this summer as well to make way for a new right back on defense, but I believe Emery has in Ruben a player who is versatile, as he can feature on the right and left of the midfield, as well as the right side out back, obviously. Ruben is also someone who, as far as I can tell, does not necessarily complain when he doesn’t play.
Peña is about to turn 30 and has a contract for three more years though, so it could be feasible that the player from Avila tries to get more minutes elsewhere. I personally hope he stays to give us options in a season with roughly 50-60 matches to be played.
Other players to mention:
- 25-year-old right back Miguelon, on loan to Espanyol, is confirmed to be sold to the Catalan team. Espanyol got promoted and executed the 1.6 million Euro option for a player who’s featured for about half the matches this year in Segunda.
- Striker Mario Gonzalez, who netted 15 goals in the Portuguese First Division with Tondela this season, is about to join Braga for about 3 million Euro if negotiations end well. I have mentioned I think it’s a mistake to sell him now, as I see a lot of potential in him, but if we are not playing him, we might as well let him go.
- Winger Javi Ontiveros is also likely to be on the way out, as the Spaniard does not count for Emery and, after not even playing that much for Huesca, he looks to be on the list to be sold this summer. Javi roughly cost 8 million Euro, and given his performance, I think it will be hard to make up most of that amount.
Stay tuned, later this week we will update on the players coming in, and the ones rumored to join!