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It’s a bad business: Valencia force Villarreal’s hand on Denis Cheryshev move

Not making last year’s loan obligatory costs Villarreal.

Villarreal v Valencia - UEFA Europa League Quarter Final : First Leg Photo by Fotopress/Getty Images

Has there ever been a harder-to-value player than Denis Cheryshev? His performance when healthy can be outstanding, as at the 2018 World Cup. But his injury record has been dreadful.

Villarreal took advantage of that difficulty to sign him from Real Madrid in the summer of 2016 for €7m, this after he had already impressed on loan with us but we had been unable to put together a permanent deal the summer before.

Unfortunately the coach who he’d played for and who wanted him, Marcelino, was fired shortly after Chery returned, and neither Escriba nor Calleja put much faith in the Russian, especially since he had a multitude of muscle injuries.

He was loaned to Valencia; the loan had a purchase option of €8m (€10m if Valencia qualified for the Champions League) but—the purchase option wasn’t mandatory. Given Cheryshev’s injury record, maybe this was inevitable, but it has set up Villarreal for a fall it’s about to take.

Cheryshev has made no bones about enjoying playing for Marce in Valencia and is not interested in returning to Villarreal. At the same time, Villarreal doesn’t seem to have any interest in keeping him. Valencia does. And so, it’s a very uneven tug of war. I’m sure Villarreal wuld love to sell him elsewhere for more money, but given the player’s desire to remain in Valencia and his injury record, the Submarine is going to lose out.

Reports today indicated he will be sold for roughly €6m. Very little for a World Cup star, but on the other hand, he’s a player who played as many minutes last season (1708) as he did in the last three seasons combined. And he still managed to be on the shelf four different times this last season.

For what it’s worth, transfermarkt values him at that €6m (take a look at his market value here—it’s amazing how it’s changed over the last five years, and this didn’t even include his World Cup spike, when people were saying he was worth €20m+.

Valencia could be getting a bargain. Or, they could be getting an oft-injured player who spends more time on the treatment table than on the pitch. We shall see.