With Villarreal fans down in the dumps after a disappointing loss to Leganes on Sunday (and I hear this Barcelona team we host on Sunday might be, you know, decent), we got some good nres regarding contract extensions.
The big news was that Rodrigo Hernandez signed a contract until 2022. Terms were not disclosed (of course), but knowing that his current contract had only a €12m release clause, this is good news. Rodri has emerged as the heir apparent to Bruno Soriano, even earlier than expected since Bruno has been out all season. And in Calleja’s diamond midfield, he’s a key player as far as distributing the ball and recovering it (just as Bruno has always done, Rodri is among the league leaders in “recuperaciones” (ball recoveries).
Various EPL clubs were rumored to be scouting him, so it’s good that this deal has been tied up. He told us several months ago not to worry, glad to see he was honest about that.
In honor of his renewal, and with Barcelona coming to town, here’s my report on his performance against the culés last year:
Meanwhile, Mariano Barbosa has also signed a new contract, typing him up at the club until 2020. This one is a bit more controversial, at least given that he’s had a couple of bad games by his standards of late.
Villarreal now have three keepers on long-term contracts: Andrés Fernández, signed until 2021; Sergio Asenjo, signed until 2022; and Barbosa. Given that each of the first two is recovering from injury, this might make sense, but it might also be a realization that the B and C teams have goalkeepers who are promising, but a couple of years away from the big time.
Barbosa has been very good at times, but his last few matches have been poor. Hopefully with a new contract under his belt he’ll get back on his game.
Good luck to both! Endavant Villarreal!