The remaining months of the La Liga season are of course important for clubs in the league, but are also important for a number of players on a personal level. Villarreal don't have many players with expiring contracts this season, but we do have some loan players where we hold purchase options that we may want to exercise, or not, and some players are on loan elsewhere who will be coming back.
You can already see the domino effect of one player's success in Villarreal--Adrian Marín's return to the first team has shown he's certainly capable, and so, Bojan Jokic is expendable, apparently moving to Nottingham Forest (though as far as I know no deal has been announced yet). Marín clearly is not returning to Villarreal B, as we picked up a left back from defunct Huracán Valencia to take his roster spot.
The same sort of domino effect is likely to be in play later this season. For example, consider Villarreal's attackers. Adrián López has hardly seen any playing time due to injury so we'll leave him aside for now, but Leo Baptistao, who sparkled in the preseason and first couple of matches, then was injured and out a couple of months, is now seeing playing time again, and scored today in our Copa match.
Baptistao is on loan from Atletico Madrid, and Villarreal has a purchase option they can exercise this summer--I believe it's €6m. Has he shown enough to merit that?
And then there's another purchase option to consider--Gerard Moreno's. Remember, Espanyol came in for him in the summer, but we agreed to a sale (50% of his rights for €1.5 million) with a buyback agreement, terms not known. Gerard has also had injury issues this season, and he's not seen a lot of playing time. Still, he is something of a known quantity as far as Villarreal is concerned.
Denis Suarez is a different matter; we'd love to keep him but Barcelona clearly want to buy him back with their repurchase option, or at least that's the talk at present. Denis's future could, in turn, affect a couple of our attacking midfielders on loan elsewhere:
Moi Gomez has been wasted at Getafe, where he's played less than 200 minutes. Hard to see any positives from that loan move. He's under contract with us until 2018.
Javier Espinosa, on the other hand, has been a consistent starter at Elche in the Segunda, mostly playing right wing. His Villarreal deal ends in 2017; do we want him as backup or competition for Samu Castillejo, or do we sell him on before his contract is up?
We also have a couple of other loanees out there: Alexsandar Pantic is playing at Eibar, and with his contract ending in June, don't expect him to return to the Yellow Submarine--it's rumored Glasgow Celtic are interested in him, but whether or not we can sell him from underneath Eibar before his contract ends is uncertain. Perhaps he finishes out the season with Eibar and they sign him on a free if they're interested?
Sergio Marcos is playing regularly for Second Division Lugo, and we might expect to see him contending for a spot with Villarreal's first team next summer, where he impressed in brief action last season. With Marcos basically a central midfielder, and Villarreal having a number of those players, there could be room for some more dominoes to fall there--Tomas Pina perhaps?
And then there are the futures of players with Villarreal B--that is a whole other topic, worthy of another post!