Nerves of Villarreal fans worldwide were calmed today when news came across the wire that Giovanni dos Santos was officially a Villarreal player now. He will be reporting next week. Originally he and Tomas Pina were supposed to be signed together so Mallorca could try to pull a fast one on Spurs, who sold Gio to the islanders with a clause that allowed them to recoup 50% of any transfer fee. But Pina's deal closed last week, and Gio's didn't.
Word in the Mexican press was we paid €6m for Gio. He's only 24--it's hard to remember he is so young given all the teams he has been through. I remember him as an impressive player on loan to Racing (under Marcelino's tutelage) and in the summer of 2010, when we defeated Spurs in a friendly, he was an impressive player for them that day--one of the few (Villarreal looked incredibly good, if you recall, Rossi getting a hat-trick in a 4-1 win).
He fell afoul of Harry Redknapp, perhaps deservedly so, who knows. Villarreal hoped to have Gio last season--he was supposedly going to come to us until we were relegated, so he ended up playing for a Mallorca club that struggled to avoid the drop all season and couldn't, in the end, make it.
Gio scored 6 goals, and had 9 assists, for a Mallorca team that didn't surround him with a ton of talent. But it's reasonable to say is club career is at a crossroads. Impressive performances for the Mexican national team need to translate into success at the club level. With a four-year deal at Villarreal, here is the chance for Gio to become something other than a "Tottenham flop", as EPL fans have labeled him. At the Submarine, for the first time since leaving the Barcelona system he will have an opportunity to get significant playing time (start!) as part of a talented team.
We are excited to have Gio joining Villarreal CF, and wish him (and our other signings this summer) a great year ahead. Endavant Villarreal!!