Jony Pereira: on his way home? - Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno
Rumors abound in Villarreal. In a good week, it's about winter signings. Who will return to El Madrigal in January? Jony Pereira is the current name.
The diminutive front-man got into hot water last week by picking a fight with some rabid supporters after cross-town rivals Sevilla crushed Betis 5-1. Bad timing. And his manager Pepe Mel showed him no support, saying that Jony "would get his." Fighting words.
Betis still owes Villarreal for the transfers of Javi Matilla (on loan at Murcia) and Pereira over the past few seasons. Good thing we didn't sell them Jefferson Montero as well. As a form of repayment, Villarreal may get its striker back, with a bit of interest in the form of completed payments, and sign him to a four-and-a-half-year contract.
With Ikechukwu Uche in Africa in January for the continent's showpiece competition, we need another mobile striker to plug into Julio Velázquez's current scheme. Enter Jony, who stepped down a level in winter 2010 and scored 9 goals in 22 appearances for Betis in the Segunda. We'll take that.
Jony made the Villarreal 'A' team bench at age 17(!), then scored on his debut in 2006-07 as a substitute against Levante. Incredibly, that is his only first team goal to this day. After loan stints at Racing Ferrol and Racing Santander, Jony was sold to Betis at age 22 as a talent that had not quite bloomed.
He would be returning to Vila-real as a grizzled 25-year-old, having experienced the highs and lows of La Liga. Jony also was a Spanish youth international, but that has not produced a call-up by La Furia Roja. No surprise.
Jony could begin training with the squad whenever, but he could not appear for Villarreal until January. Potentially a nice re-acclimation period. An interesting move, somewhat out of the blue. What are your thoughts?