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Villarreal looking for a striker: 11/11/11 News

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     Villarreal are certainly interested in bringing in another forward in the January transfer window, having tried and failed to get Granada to end the Uche loan.

    Names being bandied around:

      Romelu Lukaku, who would come on loan from Chelsea.  Maybe, though he's awfully young and wouldn't be a permanent signing, so no real upside.

      Eduardo Vargas (see previous fanshot), who is currently playing for Universidad de Chile and would be another South American international to play up front along with Hernán Pérez

     And two names that keep recurring are Javier Saviola, who would seem to be a good choice if the club wants an older signing, or Ivica Olic

    One thing that might argue against signing Vargas is that he would take up a foreign-player spot, as far as I know.  Saviola has Spanish as well as Argentine nationality for footballing purposes.

    Meanwhile, EPM's Rafael Fabián has a short piece on Jonathan de Guzmán and his struggles so far.  Some of it we've talked about in our podcasts--the fact that he's being asked to play a different role than at Mallorca, and is still getting used to the Villarreal coaches and players.  One point Fabián makes that we hadn't is that Jonathan has a language barrier to contend with, too, which might be especially important in relating to players like Borja who don't speak English.  And, he is feeling the pressure of being the team's big-money signing in a summer when a popular player was sold.

   Speaking of that popular player, here's a snippet from Sid Lowe's interview with Santi Cazorla, published in the Guardian today (well worth reading the whole thing).  Sid's question first, then Santi's response.

Sid: Villarreal miss you. Borja Valero talked about them losing their identity with your departure; Marcos Senna said it was like they had "cut off a finger". Now they're near the bottom and virtually out of the Champions League. What's wrong with them?

Santi: I don't know. There's a kind of sadness about them. They have had really bad luck with injuries and they need a handful of good results to change the mentality and the atmosphere, to give them confidence and tranquillity. They look a little tense … it's a pity, you feel pissed off for them. People are talking about the fact that I'm not there but I don't honestly think that if I was there it would necessarily be different. They need to take that pressure off. If they miss me … well, I miss them too.

    Villarreal will play Santi's Málaga on Monday November 28: it seems an odd choice for the Monday game but it will guarantee a good audience.  Remember we won there last year, with two goals from---er, Santi.

  Endavant Villarreal!!