An eventful summer has just reached its end at Valencia. We have seen a record number of players leaving the club,righting wrongs from years past to rebuild a team in the mold of Marcelino style football, strengthening weak areas like professionalism, team work, leadership and decisions. Although one could reprieve the team with Mateu Alemany at it’s head for selling on the low in some cases, the truth is these players were especially difficult to sell with their high salaries, low performance levels and labelled “toxic”. Looking at the overall transfer activity there is no doubt that it is, on paper, a great success.
All the players Marcelino wanted out based on Voro’s report are out and in have come highly professional players all with a point to prove in a world cup season. Gabriel ruled the Villarreal defense under Marcelino and will bring grit and strength together with his Columbian defender colleague Murillo. Both also add desperately needed speed at the rear centre. In front of them Kondogbia will add the muscle and passing ability sorely missed since the times of Albelda. Loanees Guedes and Pereira will add movement and flair, while goalkeeper Neto hopes to bring a stronger allround goalkeeper performance to the team. The Brazilian is also a leader and charismatic team player, highly favord by team mates both at Fiorentina and Juventus.
The most important transfers for me however has come in the sporting management. First and foremost Mateu Alemany has brought the experience, knowledge and ability expected in such a position for a club like Valencia. There are now plans which are actually followed. A seasoned negotiator he has also maneuvered from a near impossible position to build a team that with luck could challenge for Champions League. Teamed up with Marcelino who is as clear in his tactics and man management as in his requirements in the market they have stopped a downward spiraling club and at least given hope that the fall is halted and the rise begun.
We at Chescandinavia look very forward to the coming season and to following it with you all!