And where there were two Samus, there are now one. MARCA reports Samu Garcia flew to Russia to pen a four-year deal with Rubin Kazan, the club now managed by his ex-mister at Malaga, Javi Gracia. The deal is to be made official on Wednesday.
While Villarreal doesn't generally confirm prices, it's understood he is being sold for €5 million, which is a pretty sizeable loss on their €8m investment. García admitted he was having a hard time fitting into Villarreal's system, and missing two and a half months with a broken toe didn't help. Evidently Villarreal felt he wasn't going to play a significant role in 2016-17 and his value would only diminish further.
Samu wrote a very heartfelt letter to Malaga fans when he left and it had been rumored for some time he would return there, but football produces some strange turns. Malaga decided not to retain Javi Gracia as coach, and the next day he signed a contract with Rubin Kazan, supposedly €12m over four years. And so it is that rather than returning to southern Spain, Samu Garcia is heading to the banks of the Volga River, 500 miles east of Moscow.
Garcia scored a couple of goals for Villarreal, including one at Valencia, so those are nice memories. But ultimately, I think we'll remember him for his tattoos or his hairstyle, rather more than his play. Kazan will miss European football this season, but maybe our paths will cross again sometime. Good luck, Samuel!