Villarreal CF has announced that Javier Farinós is the club's second signing of the winter transfer window. The 34-year-old holding midfielder returns to professional football after a lengthy spell on the sidelines following a serious hip injury. After successfully completing a two-week trial, Farinós should be available starting on Saturday to provide depth and quality at the doble pivote position.
While our first signing Jonathan Pereira came of age in the Villarreal system, Farinós played here on loan ten years ago for half a season. That's before any of our writers started to follow the club. But reports of his professionalism are not dated -- he has spent the Christmas holidays training in Vila-real. On his own. Who knew a home game against Barcelona B was so enticing?
Jony's role will be to score goals. Farinós could play a number of roles: changing room leader, cover where we need it most, or an additional attacking option off the bench. I propose another: hard man in the midfield. Without players like Javier Camuñas, Carlos Marchena, and Wakaso Mubarak, the team is light on aggression in the contentious areas. Farinós and his lengthy resume should fit the bill.
You may recall Farinós from a highly successful spell with our neighbors Levante, where he featured in 30 matches in the granotas' best-ever 2011-12 campaign. He has also played with our rivals Valencia (starting against Real Madrid in the 2000 UEFA Champions League final(!)), Mallorca, and Hércules - not a bad morbo tour. Farinós came to Villarreal in 2003 on loan from Inter Milan, where he coincided with the Brazilian stars of that era. And our new signing even featured twice for La Furia Roja.
Seems like a low-risk, high-reward move. No long-term commitment to a 34-year-old coming off a serious injury. And Farinós is reportedly in great shape, has the approval of once and future teammate Javi Venta, and will be motivated to silence his skeptics. Plus he joins the last of the big four teams in the Comunitat Valenciana - wonder how many have achieved that feat?
A hearty welcome, Sr. Farinós. May you rediscover the fountain of youth. Even a patch on Robert Pires would be fine by us.